Friday, December 16, 2005

Oh Come All Ye Faithful...

Let's go carol-singing!

You are cordially invited to a public carol service in Parliament Square at 6pm on Wednesday the 21st of December 2005.
This inclusive service will contain both Christian and secular verse, and is expected to last no more than an hour.
Candles and song sheets will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

Programme:(Introduction and welcome)

Come All Ye Faithful, Away in a Manger, Little Drummer Boy, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Deck the Halls, Good King Wenceslas, The First Noel, Joy to the World,We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Jingle Bells, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town

(Message of thanks followed by a one-minute silence)

Amazing Grace, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night

(The Lord's Prayer; led by Brian Haw)

Legal Implications: Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005 (more).

Directions:Parliament Square is located directly opposite the Houses of Parliament (map). The nearest tube station is Westminster (on the Jubilee Line).

Accommodations:We humbly request that those who attend do not bring placards, banners or circulars to this event.

Downloads:A downloadable version of the song sheet is now available: Right-click and 'Save As' (303Kb Word document)

Section 132 Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005:This draconian law was designed to evict Brian Haw and stifle dissent at the heart of our democracy. On that first count, it failed, but on the second.... well, you're probably already aware that Maya Anne Evans was arrested and convicted under this law, merely for reading out names of soldiers killed in Iraq at London's Cenotaph.
Section 132 - Demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament: Demonstrating without authorisation in designated area:(1) Any person who-(a) organises a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or(b) takes part in a demonstration in a public place in the designated area, or(c) carries on a demonstration by himself in a public place in the designated area,is guilty of an offence if, when the demonstration starts, authorisation for the demonstration has not been given under section 134(2).
A formal warning usually precedes any action, but the Police may arrest any person committing an offence under Section 132 of the Act and if found guilty that individual may be liable to a fine of up to £2500 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 51 weeks.

In this instance, the police have not been notified. They've been invited, certainly, but they have not been notified. We believe that the public has the right to gather in a public place and sing Christmas carols. The police may see things differently; we shall see. (Technically, under the act, while this may be a spontaneous demonstration of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance, it still classifies as a demonstration.)

Communication:If you require any further details, or wish to help out with music, candles and/or song-sheets, please contact Tim Ireland via the following email address:manic AT bloggerheads DOT com

Organisations:This is an initiative led by, and it has been endorsed by the following individuals, groups and bodies (please get in touch if you wish to add your name/group to this list):
Brian Haw Supporters of Brian Haw

Maya Evans Justice Not

Craig Murray (former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan)

Thanks Bloggerheads! And let's all try and remember the message of the Christmas angels -' Peace on Earth, Good will to All Men'.

Now more than ever, eh?

See you there.


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