Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Amazing Grace

Listen to us on BBC Radio 4 News thanks Blairwatch for archiving it
We did it! We protested, a loud speaker was used, a political speech was made.We sang carols, and we demonstrated our contempt for the stupid law which criminalises peaceful protest outside Parliament.

We sang carols, and festive songs, ( and we sang them well, apart from a rubbish rendition of Little Drummer Boy with too many rum-pum-pums) and we said the Lord's Prayer, and held a minute's silence, and we sang 'Amazing Grace', which had me crying, as usual.

And my friends were there, and I made some new friends, and I was proud to be part of it. Well done Tim! ( And thanks to Guido and Talkpolitics , Devils Kitchen , Current Outlook Curious hamster and Craig Murray as well for the coverage)

And so the law was broken, but no arrests were made. This is important, in a small but significant way.


'Since the law came into force in August, several people have been arrested and other protesters have been warned off.
Human rights lawyer Michael Schwartz, who was among the singers, said the new law was vague - as demonstrated by the lack of police officers on Wednesday.
"Is it compatible with with human rights law which is supposed to protect freedom of expression and assembly, particularly around Parliament, which is supposed to be the mother of democracy?," he added.

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman said: "We treated the event as a carol service and not as a demonstration so the legislation did not come into play."

But of course it was a demonstration. We came there to make a point, we knew we risked arrest.

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

We were protesting against an unjust law; that was why we turned up. We pushed it, and 100 - 130 people assembled and demonstrated, and sang and nothing was done. Hooray. About time. A stupid law was defied, and well done to the police for treating it with soft hands. The law is an ass, so let's give it a sugar lump, and pat its flanks, and let it walk away. It's an embarrassment to enforce. What does that tell you, Mr Clarke? Mr Blair?

That this is the way that it ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper?

Independent newspaper report

BBC Report

Urban 75 report

Indymedia report ( and how to listen to us on Radio 4 for the next 24 hours)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool...peace and love...and no compromise on basic civil liberties ...have a merry Christmas every one. Be recharged for the coming fight(s) cos this aint over

December 22, 2005 12:45 am  
Blogger janinsanfran said...

Well done. Keep on keeping on. We try to do the same over here.

December 22, 2005 5:17 am  
Blogger snooo said...

God bless us, everyone!

December 22, 2005 3:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done! Glad you guys were there and stood your ground. Have a great Christmas S x

December 22, 2005 10:23 pm  
Blogger Ceridwen Devi said...

well done! it's good to support Maya Evans in this way. silly laws
benefit nobody and defying them is
the road to freedom. we have voted
you "Blog of the Year" for your
stand on civil liberties as well as
your courage in telling your story.
a friend of ours from Bucharest
University in Romania passed through King's Cross an hour before
the bomb went off, on her way to
visit Cardiff Uni, by way of Paddington. we had some very nervous hours till we knew she was all right.

December 23, 2005 10:27 am  
Blogger Richard said...

What wonderful news. You all set an excellent example for everyone else who's tired of being treated with the politician's distain.

Have a very, very happy Christmas. And may the coming new year and all those to follow, bring you health, wealth and happiness.

December 23, 2005 7:37 pm  

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