Date registered: Dec 2005
Location: United States
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 452 Post(s)
UK cracking down on war protestors
As usual, taking a page out of the US's book....
CRIME?: Wearing an anti-Blair T-shirt in Brighton during the Labour conference.
WHAT HAPPENED: He was stopped under section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism Act as he walked towards the seafront for an anti-war demonstration outside the conference. His T-shirt accused Mr Blair and George Bush of war crimes. He was released after signing a form confirming he had been questioned. The police record said the purpose of the stop and search was "terrorism" and the official grounds for intervention were "carrying plackard + T-shirt with anti-Blair info" (sic).
CRIME?: Heckling Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, during his speech to the Labour Party conference.
WHAT HAPPENED: The veteran peace activist shouted "That's a lie" as Mr Straw justified keeping British troops in Iraq. He was manhandled by stewards out of his seat and ejected from the Brighton Centre. When he tried to re-enter he was briefly detained under Section 44 of the 2000 Terrorism Act. Amid the disastrous publicity, senior ministers, from Tony Blair down, apologised.
CRIME?: Protesting over British casualties in Iraq.
WHAT HAPPENED: Standing on the Cenotaph in Whitehall, she read out a list of soldiers killed in Iraq. She was arrested under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, which requires police permission to make a protest within one kilometre of Parliament. She was given a conditional discharge after being found guilty. Lord Falconer of Thoroton, the Lord Chancellor, later denied that the prosecution was an "undue infringement" of individual liberties.
Flt Lt Malcolm Kendall-Smith
CRIME?: Refusing to serve in Iraq.
WHAT HAPPENED: The RAF doctor served in Iraq twice, but refused to return for a third spell of duty last June. He argued that the military action was not justified as Iraq had not attacked the UK or one of its allies. He is being court-martialled, facing five charges of refusing to comply with an order. After a pre-trial hearing rejected his argument that the orders were unlawful, the court martial will open at Aldershot next week.
CRIME?: Maintaining an anti-war vigil outside Parliament.
WHAT HAPPENED: Mr Haw has become a permanent fixture in Parliament Square since June 2001, when he erected a series of placards berating Tony Blair and President George Bush. The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005, was designed mainly with his vigil in mind. But the High Court ruled that the legislation did not cover his protest as it could not be applied retrospectively. The Government is appealing against that decision.