Thursday, August 31, 2006

See you tonight at the free speech demo!

I was delighted to get this message from Chris,one of the organisers of the Anti-SOCPA Free Speech demo which is TONIGHT! In Parliament Square. 6pm for one hour.I wanted to share it because, dudes, shucks, YOU made this happen and I you all. Thank you. A lot. Mwah. x
UPDATE: See Mike's photos of the form-filling in! Thanks Mike! Look out for the lady who baked her application form into a cake.

''I just wanted to say thanks so much for pushing the lone protest event. It was a spectacular success and we got over 120 people applying in person and another 50 odd forms by proxy. This is mainly due to your *enthusiastic pushing in your blog. [*IT WAS BECAUSE OF THE EFFORTS OF YOU LOVELY PEOPLE WHO LINKED, EMAILED, FORWARDED AND WENT DOWN THE POLICE STATION A WEEK AGO TO HAND IN YOUR APPLICATION FORMS - RN xx]

I think we also tapped in to the great British desire to complain about things. Incidents of note:

-They had to put on extra staff to cope with the demand but the police were fairly good humoured.

-They refused to accept a form from Billy the dog – even though he had a properly-filled-out form.

-One lady brilliantly filled out her socpa form on a cake with icing. This caused a lot of head scratching but they took the details and filled out a new form. And then we all ate the cake and the cops all had a slice.

-We had a Medium who claimed to be possessed by the spirit of WinstonChurchill, so Churchill handed in a socpa form from beyond the grave.

-A selection of the protest subject matters were: Goth Pride, Owen Hargreaves contract, ban silly political stunts, the fact that the “mind the gap” announcement at Bow road tube is too loud, the lack of hat wearing in public life, Give Warwick castle back to the public, and my friend Tom who wanted to highlight his belief that every time you have a wank a tory dies.

At least 3 people were there to protest against me personally, including my girlfriend.

- They did a live item on London Tonight and Mark [Thomas]did a great interview.

-The Home office response was: "The exclusion zone, which has the full support of the police, is in place for sensible security reasons.” I can’t believe that I share a species with such total idiots.

-Just as the very last person handed in his form a very flustered pensioner turned up in a taxi. She had seen Mark talking about it on the TV and ran down to join in! She was very sweet and brought her pension book for some reason.

BBC news link

All in all one of the most surreal days ever. Next week [i.e:.TONIGHT - RN] will be great.


Yes, it will. Huzzah! I have my form giving me permission to demonstrate ( in fact I got two) but I still haven't had time to make a placard because this week has been mentally busy. I will rummage about and see what can be found in the back of the wardrobe.

Blogging to come... 5 years of The War Against Terror. Goodbye summer. What KCU are doing to deal with tube-fear and raise money for charity. And what John Reid in a letter said about why the CCTV 7/7 bomber footage has not been released. But all that will have to wait til the weekend...

UPDATE : Ever wondered what some of the U.K's most fearsomely incisive political bloggers look like? Do they all have beards? Do they really wear pyjamas 24/7? Wonder no longer, because Justin, Tim from Bloggerheads, D-Notice and Davide will all be there so you can go and see for yourself!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go make some noise!

and i agree with joty's comment from the other day - sounds like an image that deserves to be seen...

August 31, 2006 9:22 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope it all goes well and well done for turning out and doing this. I'd have come myself but I refuse to ask the police for permission to exercise my inalienable democratic rights. Sod it, I may well come down anyway. Onward!

August 31, 2006 2:12 pm  
Blogger Holly Finch said...

enjoy guys...sorry i can't be with you but make lots of noise from me! hx

August 31, 2006 2:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello rachel,
ireceived some interesting articles about the mideast situation and the events of july 7. as i am not good at cutting and pasting,do you have a general email address that i can send them to?

also,the link "this blog in the nytimes" doesnt work anymore.

ill be thinking of you- i hope the media will be there.

seth :)

August 31, 2006 4:32 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

thank you for the information. i will get those articles to you as soon as possible.

by the way,was the domino's pizza that you had the "ay caramba fajita" combo? i did contact domino's here in the u.s. and alas they have no plans to introduce it here. :(

but it is definite- here in the u.s. the simpsons final season will begin on fox on sunday september 10,and then the "simpsons movie" is a done deal. It will be in worldwide release on july 27,2007- i have already seen a video trailer for it. :)

I hope all goes well tonite for you; do be careful and ill watch the various u.s all news cable channels later to see if there's any coverage.

toodles for now,
seth :)

August 31, 2006 5:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi rachel,

the articles have been emailed..i have used my optimum online (thats my ISP) address, so i wanted to let you know thats me and not to delete them.


August 31, 2006 5:28 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi Seth

It's RachelNorthLondon AT

If they are the articles I think they are ( about the alleged terror plotters) I'd LOVE to see them.

Hope you well. I had a Dominos pizza last week and I thought of you.


September 01, 2006 12:00 am  
Blogger Ham said...

OK, my pics are linked off Gub Gub's Blog.

September 01, 2006 1:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Piece by Peter Taylor in today's Guardian exposing yet again the criminal stupidity of the argument that Iraq has nothing to do with it:,,1862718,00.html


September 01, 2006 7:20 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Rachel.

If you ( 5:50, August 31) are refering to me (29/8/06 07:14 post) about the "non-U.K"\ commenter (you will be able to tell by comparing my IP) then I dont think its fair. One, becasue my nationality has nothing to to do with the point I was raising, and to dismiss a post one the basis of nationality is tantamount to racsim. Two, I wasn't suggesting at all that anyone should be picked up. Far from it, the fact they might be picked up at all, makes me quake in my boots! I was merely pointing out and trying to make people aware, of how the government will go from here, or, if the righteous protesters start to impinge upon the silencing act that Blair has managed to get through Parliament. If you did not mean me, and I on reflection, I dont think you did, then please forgive my paranoia.

Much respect to all those that took part in the demo. Please bear in mind, that a sustained effort is needed to succeed. Attrition and apathy have killed many a good cause.

Here's another:

September 01, 2006 7:27 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,

It was great to see you there yesterday. That was a lot of fun. I look forward to the next one when it happens.


September 01, 2006 8:35 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hi anon, no ,I don't think that was you. I mentioned non UK because the commenter said they 'were not familiar with UK laws', then went on to suggest that the police should subject the demo organisers to very serious interrogation. Actually, maybe it was you and you were being ironic. Apolgies if youwere and I missed it. I had a truly vicious comment left at the weekend, and I may have read the one about organisers being interrogated as if it was meant seriously...if it wasn't them very sorry and thanks for your support.

September 01, 2006 11:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

True, those demonstrators are wasting police time. I would just make the orgnanisors pay for the policing time. Why waste more time interogating them? They should go and live in KSA or Iran if they really want to know what a lack of free speech is, not Middle Class Surburbia in the UK.

September 07, 2006 12:26 pm  

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