Notice of Application for Authorisation to Demonstrate within the Designated Area in the vicinity of Parliament Square

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Despite the Designated Area around Parliament Square having come into force last Friday 1st July, there is still no guidance available from the Metropolitan Police or the Home Office websites about what exactly the new procedures and rules for applying for the automatically granted prior written authorisation(s), to which arbitrary Conditions can be applied (after 1st August).

As an experiment, in order to establish a baseline precedent response from the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, we have submitted our guess at what a written Notice for Authorisation to Demonstrate in the "public spaces" of the Designated Area could look like.

This was submitted via Recorded Postal Delivery, and is of as general a nature as possible, i.e. asking for anytime, anywhere, indefinate blanket permission within the Designated Area, and for clarification of the Metropolitan Police's definition of a "demonstration" according to this law.

We look forward to the response, and to any conditions that may be applied to us when we try, for example, to lobby our Member of Parliament within the "public areas" of the Houses of Parliament.

We would have coughed up our 96p for Recorded Delivery on Saturday, but, of course, the three nearest Post Offices have been shut recently, and for some reason they only work a half day on Saturday anyway.

"Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
Sir Ian Blair
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police
New Scotland Yard
Broadway
London
SW1H 0BG

Monday 4th July 2005

Dear Sir,

I am writing to give formal notice under Section 133 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 "Notice of demonstrations in designated area"
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/50015--l.htm#133

with regard to "Demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament", as brought into force by

Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1521 (C. 66) - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Commencement No. 1, Transitional and Transitory Provisions) Order 2005
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051521.htm

within the Designated Area described by

Statutory Instrument 2005 No. 1537 - The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (Designated Area) Order 2005
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2005/20051537.htm

"The provisions relating to the procedure for giving notice of a demonstration and obtaining an authorisation come into force on 1st July 2005. The remaining provisions will come into force on 1st August 2005."

I appreciate that this is a new law, but I am annoyed that there has been no publication of the correct procedures to follow, on either the Metropolitan Police Service's website www.met.police.uk, or on the Home Office website www.homeoffice.gov.uk

The law seems to be unclear as to what exactly it means by a "demonstration". Does walking within the Designated Area, wearing , for example, a "political slogan" T-shirt, or badge, or rubber wristband, or carrying campaign literature, count , in the "reasonable belief" of "a constable in uniform" as a Demonstration covered by this Act ?

To establish a baseline of what is and what is not permitted, here is a general Notice :

The notice must state-

a) the date and time when the demonstration is to start,
- Anytime at least "6 clear days" after the receipt of this notice, recorded post permitting. This means anytime after Tuesday 12th July 2005

- I also reserve the right to demonstrate "not less than 24 hours", after the receipt of this notice, recorded post permitting. This means anytime after Wednesday 6th July 2005

(b) the place where it is to be carried on,

- Any "public place" i.e. "any highway or any place to which at the material time the public or any section of the public has access, on payment or otherwise, as of right or by virtue of express or implied permission," within the Designated Area, including the public areas of the Palace of Westminster itself, where I may choose to lobby Members of Parliament in the time honoured traditonal way.

(c) how long it is to last,

- Indefinately

(d) whether it is to be carried on by a person by himself or not,

- By myself initially and also by other people should they choose to do.

- N.B. this does not make me responsible as an "organiser" of any other arbitarary "demonstration".

(e) the name and address of the person giving the notice.

- [Name ]
- [Address]
- [Address]
- [Address]
- [Post Code]

- email: [name]@[domain name]

Please advise me, preferably via email, of any Conditions which you intend to apply to my demonstration, when you authorise my notice of application, according to
Section 134 Authorisation of demonstrations in designated area
http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/50015--l.htm#134

yours sincerely

XXXX"

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Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Notice of Application for Authorisation to Demonstrate within the Designated Area in the vicinity of Parliament Square.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://spyblog.org.uk/mt5211/mt-tb.cgi/2580

The Stop the War Coalition is calling for some form of demonstration in Parliament Square on 1st August, starting at 2pm, in order to protest against the restrictions on demonstrations which come fully into force on that day. It is... Read More

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The Post Office Track and Trace web page

http://www.postoffice.co.uk

shows:

"Your item with reference DP683754135GB was delivered from our SOUTH WEST LONDON Delivery Office before 07:37 on 05/07/05."

Technically the period of "at least 24 hours" or "at least 6 clear days" should start from then.

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