The Home Office has disclosed some details about the restrictions on demonstrations in the Designated Area around Parliament Square, under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The FOIA request was submitted before the SI Order outlining the Designated Area was signed.
The FOIA request asked 16 specific questions, which have been reproduced with the Home Office answers below.
The Designated Area does not, apparently extend Underground e.g. to the Jubilee line Tube Station at Westminster, or to the Airspace above the Designated Area. The FOIA request did not ask, and the Home Office did not clarify if a the River Thames itself below low the water mark is covered or not.
The important "new" information revealed by the disclosure seems to be:
8) What is the minimum duration of a protest or demonstration before it falls under the new regulations ?
8. There is no minimum duration to a demonstration before it falls under the new provisions.
9) Will a short walk in and around the Parliament Square "Designated Area" entail getting prior permission from the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police if you happen to be wearing a "political slogan" T-shirt or badge ?
9. The definition of a demonstration is ultimately a matter for the courts.
13) What is the position regarding a "fuel protest" type convoy of vehicles beeping their horns, rather than using loudspeakers ?
13. Beeping of horns is not classified as a loudspeaker. A convoy of moving vehicles could be classed as a "procession". In this case the provisions of sections 11, 12 and 13 of the Public Order Act 1986 would apply and not the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.
14) Does a separate notification of a demonstration or protest have to be submitted for each and every day, or part of a day that it lasts ?
14. A separate notification needs to be submitted for each new demonstration, however long it lasts. However one letter could seek authorisation for more than one demonstration.
The Home Office Freedom of Information Act disclosure:
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