1. Defend Freedom of Speech by participating in this clever little stunt:
(via Rachel from whom I’m cheekily lifting most of this because I can’t put it any better.)
A Simultaneous lone demonstration This is a great idea and well worth doing…[Now over to Rachel]
A recent damn-fool law has made it illegal to protest anywhere near Parliament without official police permission, and comedian Mark Thomas is organising a stunt to highlight the danger and stupidity of having this law in a democracy. Please note that taking part in this is 100% LEGAL, and the whole purpose of the stunt is to overload the system by dozens of people all asking for permission to protest all at the same time.
The law: Under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (.PDF) it is an offence to organise or take part in a demonstration in a public place within the “designated area” (up to 1 km around parliament) if authorisation has not been given by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.Participants may be subject to a fine of up to £1000 and “organizers” face up to a year in Jail.Tsk! We haven’t enough space for this nonsense in our jails. It’s an outrage!
DESIGNATED AREA: Dozens of people have been arrested for not complying with the law even when they are taking part in “Lone Demonstrations” – i.e. if they are one person with a placard.
Many people see this legislation as an assault on our civil liberties and human rights. It’s not always practical to plan a week in advance what government activities you may or may not disagree with. Sometimes a spontaneous response is called for. And surely the most appropriate place to demonstrate against the government’s actions is within the newly “Designated Area”, at the very core of this country’s democratic foundation.
And why is New Labour so concerned about peaceful protestors anyway?If you apply for permission 6 days in advance for a lone protest (ie 1 person) they cannot refuse permission, so in order to highlight the ridiculousness of having to ask for police permission to hold a peaceful demonstration, Mark Thomas is organising a mass lone demonstration evening.
Anyone who wants to demonstrate about any issue can come along, or even if you just want to demonstrate your disgust at having to ask for permission to protest in a supposedly free country. Remember. This will NOT be breaking the law in any way!
In fact the purpose of this is to get as many people as possible complying with a ridiculous law. All at the very same time! Huzzah! Stage 1 – Decide on your protest!
This can be something you feel strongly about or something very silly – it’s up to you. Then you need to fill in the official SCOPA application form (which is very simple) and there is a copy of the form attached. You can get it from here.
Stage 2 – Meet on Thursday 24th August outside Charing Cross police station any time between: 5.30pm-6pm to hand in your SOCPA forms. The address is Agar Street, London, WC2N 4JP and a map is attached. You have to fill in form and hand it in to the police 1 week before you protest, so everyone has to turn up at the same time to give their forms to>the Police. This will mean if 100 people turn up and apply for permission, then the unfortunate police have to license and approve 100 lone demonstrations. (Yes, I know they have more imprtant things to do. That’s the whole point. It’s for the long term good that we do this, so they can get on with catching baddies instead of wasting their time with this nonsense.) If you can’t make it to hand the forms in but want to demonstrate on the 31st, post them to: Ben Stern S2S Suite Z009 Old Truman Brewery 1 Brick Lane London E1 6QL. (Yay Ben! Then I suggest we all go for a pint afterwards.)
Stage 3 – The mass lone demonstrations will be 1 week later on Thursday 31st August and will again be at 6:00pm for 1 hour, so this event is open to those with day jobs. Come along! Join in! Exercise your democratic rights! The more people who come the bigger an impression this will make! EASY-PEASY STEP BY STEP STEP 1 Forward this on to any friends who have a burning issue that they might need to protest about and persuade them to come as well. This is also for anyone who finds it terrible that we have to ask for permission from the Police to peacefully protest outside Parliament. STEP 2 Print out form STEP 3 Fill in form with the issue that you wish to protest about. STEP 4 5.30 – 6pm Thursday 24th August, show up at the same time as other>lone protesters at Charing Cross Police Station. STEP 5 6pm Thursday 31st August, show up and protest about your personal issue in Parliament Square. STEP 6 Consider continuing your protest again at a later date.
Again a group session for shy lone protesters will almost certainly be scheduled. Once again this is COMPLETELY LEGAL – in fact we are encouraging as many people as we can to apply to the letter of law simultaneously. Dozens of people have already agreed to do this so don’t worry that you’ll be doing this on your own. See the links below to learn more about SOCPA, the groups it has angered and the people it has affected. This is also likely to be covered by the press. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about this event. Links: Parliament Square.org.uk Spy.org.uk
2. Reward yourself by coming to this:
(Please note that this has absolutely nothing to do with the above protest apart from the fact that I’m trying to get to both events)
Kamel Nitrate, the embassadors of global psychedelic sexy funk break beat dub, will be performing live at Darbucka this thursday, bringing with them the lovely Scarlet Sahara, carrying light in her shimmering waist and rainbows in her silk veil. Kamel Nitrate will be performing new tracks from their upcoming album, extending their live shows for over one hour of indulgent sounds. Making a debut on the night with the Kamels, guest percussionist and man of international rhythms, Barnaby Green.
The enchanted evening will be taking place at Darbucka, a lovely venue where you can just sit back and feel like the Kings and Queens of Arabia and indulge yourself on delicious food and try some of the varied perfumed shishas. Or you can dance the night away with the global exotic rhythms of DJ Karim and feast your eyes on the exquisite tribal belly dance group Atalanta, with most tantalizing and gracious Hannah and her friends. Either way, spoilt for choice I’d say but you have it all under one roof. This is a night for magic to happen, leave your worries outside, come and get pampered….