I suggest a campaign about ...

The right to protest peacefully in Parliament Square.

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Bill is about to be passed through parliament, and is banning certain types of peaceful protest in Parliament Square. The results are detailed in this article: http://www.politics.co.uk/features/legal-and-constitutional/feature-end-of-an-era-for-parliament-square-$21386521.htm. Needless to say the entirely peaceful protester Brian Haw is being targeted on the sole basis that his protest is a "grotty eyesore" and on the extremely questionable Conservative assertion that this type of protest is a "national embarrassment".

Regardless of whether you agree with Brian Haw or not, I would say his commitment to peaceful protest makes him a national hero rather than a national embarrassment. With a few others he has maintained Parliament Square's historical resonance as a place of protest, despite past Labour attempts to remove him, and their barracade of the square using metal fencing. It is important that Parliament Square is retained as a significant site for peaceful protest in this country, and this bill puts that role under threat.

The bill is currently on its second reading within the Public Bill Committee, where people are encouraged to write to the committee if they have problems with the bill, before it meets to consider the bill on Tuesday 18th of January. This is detailed on the following website: http://www.parliament.uk/business/news/2010/12/police-reform-and-social-responsibility-bill-now-have-your-say/

It is very short notice but I think 38 Degrees should put together a mass mail campaign directed at the Public Bill Committee, if only to raise public awareness of this disgraceful aspect of the bill. Direct action in regards to an occupation of Parliament Square could follow.

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    Huw JordanHuw Jordan shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    8 comments

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      • Red DavieRed Davie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I must disagree very strongly with you, Jonty. Brian Haw started his protest long before it became fashionable and helped to galvanise hundreds of people into protesting against two (count them) illegal invasions. He helped set a precedent and I assure you that Brian will live on in our hearts as a hero rather than a pain in our collective asses.

      • JontyJonty commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Brian Haw was NOT a hero.
        He was just a pain in the ass.
        Most of the protesters that infest Parliament square are the same, who believe what they want to believe even when they are wrong.

        I don't mind people having the right to protest, but not in Parliament Square. It just isn't right.

      • mick silkstonemick silkstone commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        boris johnson should be ashamed we should plan a demonstration there on the royal wedding day to show our sopport and solidarity for brain and against the war ..

      • Marcia Simpson-JamesMarcia Simpson-James commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        What's wrong with these 'parliamentarians'? Why are they continually 'warring-it-up' with the citizens of the country? Me thinks that there needs to be a clear out of the place-again!

      • Gordon CraigGordon Craig commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Should we consolidate our votes to make them count and pick a campaign that best suits the "No Confidence/ General election vote?" I personally feel no confidence says it all and should then lead to a general election.

      • Red DavieRed Davie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        While stopping this bill, we must also start a campaign to repeal Sections 132 through 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA). The best way is to start protesting illegally!

      • Huw JordanHuw Jordan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Sorry I'd like to correct one thing. Apparently it is the GLA who have barracaded the square using metal fencing, in order to reseed the lawn.

        Make of that what you will.

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