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Tuesday, May 23, 2006 

25 (Update: 78) police destroy Haw's vigil.

And speaking of being absolutely shameless, the police last night turned up at 2:45am (darkness covers a multitude of sins) and took away all of Brian Haw's banners and placards except for those that roughly cover 3 metres (see above photo), loading them up into a container, likely to be destroyed. Their justification is that he has been repeatedly in breach of the Serious and Organized Farce Act's banning of demonstrations without prior permission with 1km of parliament, after the appeal court made its specious ruling that he could in fact be found to breach the SOCPA act.

Bloggerheads makes the following invitation:

You are invited to attend Parliament Square in solidarity with Brian Haw tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 11am ready for 11.30 (when Blair is due to drive past on his way to PMQs).

It is suggested that bells and whistles are used. Here's why.

I am going to further suggest that, instead of being in Parliament Square (where police are sure to clamp down and round people up during this short period), you merely be in that general area with a *concealed* bell or whistle at the ready... and then let fly when Baby Blair's motorcade goes past.

And, if anybody gives you any stick, remind them that:

1) SOCPA forbids the use of loudspeakers - *not* noisemakers.
2) SOCPA also fails to define what constitutes a demonstration.
3) So if they don't get out of your face, you'll be forced to have them arrested for demonstrating their ignorance.

Indymedia has more pictures and a fuller story.

Update: From the Daily Mail, of all places:
It emerged today that 78 officers had been involved and the operation had cost 7,200 pounds - 3,000 pounds on overtime and another 4,200 pounds on transport, catering and the erection of road signs. A row over the raid erupted today at a meeting of the Metropolitan Police Authority, the body which oversees Scotland Yard, with one member suggesting it had brought the force into "disrepute". Another said it gave the impression, around the world, that Britain was "suppressing dissent by people opposed to the Iraq war".

All for the vanity of the Dear Leader. Good to know that instead of being spent on other police activites that £7,000 went on destroying one man's protest.

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