2000 Mass Lone Demonstrations

Apr 23, 2007

A surreal challenge to the SOCPA law – the one that limits the right of protest near to Parliament – happened on Saturday 21 April 2007. here’s what happened…

In the previous 18 months, there were over 2000 occassions that the police had to grant permission for protests to happen in the “SOCPA ZONE”. This law is meant to make anyone holding a protest in area around Parliament write to the police for permission to do so. So we organised for 100 people to each apply for 20 demonstrations on the same day – each demo lasting 10 minutes. Presto! 2000 demos in a day, a years worth of paperwork for the cops in a day and the ridiculous law well and truly ridiculed.

Protests were both ridiculous and serious, and held at various sites around the zone. “Please teach my daughter not to be so ditzy” said one placard outside the Dept for Education and Skills, “Richard, stop interrupting Judy?” outside the Channel 4 building and “Give it back to the Penguins” outside the Falkland Islands Government office. There was plenty of support for the antiwar movement, defence of civil liberties and criticism of the government over pensions, privatisation and warmongering.

The Mass Lone Demo also has a monthly evening protest at Parliament Square on the third Wednesday of each month. Forms for permission have to be handed to the police (any station in the country will do) at least six days before the demo. For a sample letter of intention or an official form, see Mark Thomas’ website (link below)



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