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Thou Shalt Not Demonstrate

January 30, 2012

I was interested to see the following announcement in today’s London Evening Standard:

It caught my eye, buried even though it was in the Jobs section. What byelaws, specific to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, could our dear Mayor be drafting in such a hurry? So, I had a look. You can find the full text of the byelaws here.

I found that, buried among various rules making it a criminal offence to feed birds or fly kites (yes, you read that right), it contained some astonishing and highly undemocratic rules effectively stifling peaceful protest. No doubt Boris Johnson is thinking of the upcoming Olympics and what an embarrassment it would be to have poor people protesting near tourists. The byelaws make it an offence, inter alia, to

- erect or keep erected any tent or similar structure

- display any sign

- make or give any speech or public address

and astonishingly even

- fail to comply with a reasonable direction given by an authorised person to leave the square.

 

It is my belief that this is an outrageous and unprecedented attack on our freedom as citizens. The notice explains that any objection to the confirmation of the Byelaws may be made by letter addressed to Carl Schnackenberg, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2-4 Cockspur Street, London SW1Y 5DH, or by email to: Carl.Schnackenberg@Culture.gsi.gov.uk.

I have written. Will you spare five minutes to make your sentiments known?

 

 

69 Comments leave one →
  1. Fallen Angel permalink
    January 30, 2012 5:34 pm

    Just so we all know…democracy is dead and it has been on life support from the days of Socrates…today’s day and age has dictated that if you vote for someone, their views can change as easily as ours, the only difference is that we don’t have the power to change their direction that we had voted for in the first place…

  2. January 30, 2012 5:46 pm

    This is NOT what democracy looks like.

    This IS what ‘Shock Doctrine’ looks like…

  3. January 30, 2012 6:11 pm

    London is to be cleared, shiny and empty, for the enjoyment of all but the people whose square it actually is.

  4. January 30, 2012 6:19 pm

    Thank you for the heads-up Alex. I have sent in my objection.

    In other countries with allegedly weaker democratic systems this would be one for the courts.

  5. Jon permalink
    January 30, 2012 6:20 pm

    Well spotted! I’ve emailed. Here’s the basic template for anyone who wants to use it:

    “Dear Mr Schnackenberg,

    I would like to register my opposition to the confirmation of the proposed byelaws relating to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Gardens, notification of which was buried in today’s London Evening Standard.

    I am opposed to the measures, which I see as an encroachment upon the democratic rights of London citizens, and for the reasons given here: https://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/thou-shalt-not-demonstrate/

    Sincerely,”

  6. January 30, 2012 6:34 pm

    The page you link to states that there was a “consultation exercise in relation to the proposal to make the Byelaws which ran from 9 December 2011 to 22 January 2012.” If you had clicked on the link to the consultation exercise you would have found copies of the existing byelaws and a document summarising the proposed changes. If you had looked at these documents then you would have comprehended that every single rule you complain about is in the current (2000) byelaws.

    • January 30, 2012 6:47 pm

      Thank you Bill. I’m afraid you’re utterly wrong.

      It is the combination of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 and its interplay with the Greater London Authority Act 1999 which makes these things criminal offences subject to a summary conviction and fine. The 2011 Act “sets out a new framework for regulating protests around Parliament Square. Relevant sections of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 would be repealed and the police would be given new powers to prevent encampments and the use of amplified noise equipment” according to the Act’s summary. This is why the very important explanatory note is included right at the end of the new byelaws, which explains the summary conviction, criminalisation and fining regime. It is because of this new development that the Mayor needs SoS confirmation.

      • January 30, 2012 11:50 pm

        The new framework for regulating protests is in sections 142-148 of PRSRA.
        http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/13/part/3/enacted

        The key part is the list of prohibited activities in Section 143(_:

        “operating any amplified noise equipment in the controlled area of Parliament Square;
        (b)erecting or keeping erected in the controlled area of Parliament Square—
        (i)any tent, or
        (ii)any other structure that is designed, or adapted, (solely or mainly) for the purpose of facilitating sleeping or staying in a place for any period;
        (c)using any tent or other such structure in the controlled area of Parliament Square for the purpose of sleeping or staying in that area;
        (d)placing or keeping in place in the controlled area of Parliament Square any sleeping equipment with a view to its use (whether or not by the person placing it or keeping it in place) for the purpose of sleeping overnight in that area;
        (e)using any sleeping equipment in the controlled area of Parliament Square for the purpose of sleeping overnight in that area.”

        But these are not byelaw offences – max fine £200 – they are offences under section 143(8), max fine £5000.

        The explanatory note at the end of the byelaws explains the relevant offence for breaches of both the old and new byelaws, the current summary offences have been in place since May 2000, but the pre-GLA regime included similar provisions, governed by the Trafalgar Square Regulations 1952 etc.

        See for example, Mayor of London v Hall [2011] 1 W.L.R. 504:

        “since by camping on the square they were in contravention of byelaws made pursuant to section 385(1) of the 1999 Act, which by section 385(3) was a criminal offence, the grant of an injunction would amount to an impermissible enforcement of the criminal law”

        http://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/46494172-C78A-4B85-BB16-DEA864589C44/0/MC_Case_of_Hall_and_Others.pdf

        There is little relevant difference between the new and old byelaws as they relate to demonstrations, as is clearer when you read the summary of the changes:
        http://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Summary%20of%20key%20changes%20to%20Parliament%20Square%20Garden%20and%20Trafalgar%20Square%20Byelaws.pdf

      • January 31, 2012 12:05 am

        Thank you.

        I disagree with your reading of the provisions. My simple view is that if no Secretary of State clearance was needed and if the provisions contained no substantive changes, none would be sought.

        You seem to subscribe to the view that the evictions from Parliament Square, from the various Bank of Ideas buildings and the enactment of this new legislative instrument are coincidences of no relevance rather than a concerted nexus to “clean up London” in preparation for our Olympic visitors.

        You have made your objections quite vocal in every possible forum. I am publishing them here in full. I note from your twitter feed that you are constantly “debunking” various “myths” propagated by what you call “the occucrats” and are also keenly supportive of bailiffs who drive through protesters. I am happy to let readers make up their own mind.

  7. January 30, 2012 6:42 pm

    Thanks for the template, used it to send an email.

  8. January 30, 2012 8:09 pm

    Lets not subdue, they start with small letters and they become bigger and bigger!

  9. me@jom.co.uk permalink
    January 30, 2012 9:06 pm

    May as well say Hi Hitler

  10. phil tsakiridis permalink
    January 30, 2012 9:44 pm

    “Dear Mr Schnackenberg,

    I would like to register my opposition to the confirmation of the proposed byelaws relating to Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Gardens, notification of which was buried in today’s London Evening Standard.

    I am opposed to the measures, which I see as an encroachment upon the democratic rights of London citizens, and for the reasons given here: https://sturdyblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/30/thou-shalt-not-demonstrate/

    Sincerely,”

  11. January 30, 2012 10:04 pm

    I don’t know… democracy is different to protest; democracy, as any AS level Politics student will tell you, comes from the Greek for ‘People Rule’. I’m not awfully sure how this is not a part of representative democracy; enough people voted Boris in to represent them and I’m sure more people than not support this byelaw.

    Is it a sad state of affairs? Yes. Is it democracy? Yup.

    Besides; these are public areas for everybody- I’d rather not have a tent in my way.

    • Ashleigh Marsh permalink
      February 1, 2012 2:28 pm

      Democracy for the greeks took the form of a public meeting in a public place. It was certainly not ‘representative democracy’ like we have now, with elected politicians running things for years without direct accountability. People had to talk and listen to each other. Boris presents himself as a figurehead, rather than a working local politician, and the legislation he proposes here is probably part of an overall government strategy, don’t you think?

      Do you think internet campaigning is powerful enough to protect the interests of the people?

    • gomu permalink
      February 1, 2012 3:04 pm

      @ James:
      “Democracy” has been “redefined to mean the characteristics of those modern states customarily called ‘democratic’… A study of the features of those systems teaches us that democracy does not mean ‘rule by the people’; Democracy is not a way of governing, whether by majority or otherwise, but primarily a way of determining who shall govern.”
      Such a scenario is rather like reading a book on how to get rich and learning that of course you can never get rich but that there are ways you can help select those who will.”
      from Radical Democracy by C. Douglas Lummis

  12. milton permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:11 pm

    Are you a “person”? If you are a man or woman these oppressive byelaws are inapplicable. A “person” is a legal fiction. Time to reclaim our humanity. I am not a “person”.

  13. FiL permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:12 pm

    Is anyone else having trouble trying to email Mr Schnackenberg?
    I’m having dificulty mailing him. As though they’ve blocked all corrispondence with him. I’ve tried umpteen times now. :/

    • January 31, 2012 12:04 am

      I had to copy and paste the email address a couple of times before it worked, but it did, in the end. Or maybe his inbox is struggling to keep up with incoming mail?

    • February 1, 2012 2:33 pm

      same problem here! Help please. And thank you for the template

  14. January 30, 2012 10:18 pm

    If you want to pick out some specifics but haven’t got the time to go digging, you can use this copy:

    I would like to register my objections to the proposed byelaw confirmations concerning Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square Gardends that were notified in today’s London Evening Standard.

    In particular, I raise specific objections to the following points:

    Trafalgar Square 3 (1) (f) and Parliament Square 3 (1) (d) – “fail to comply with a reasonably direction given by an authorised person to leave the Square”. This point is far too general, as it does not specify who the authorised person might be, or what might be considered “reasonably”. Hence, it could be used to forcibly remove people from the square for an arbitrary reason, and as such could be contradictory to Article 11 of the European Convention on Human rights (freedom of assembly).

    Trafalgar Square 5 (1) (c,n) and Parliament Square 5 (1) (c,i) – “exhibit any notice, advertisement or any other written or political matter”, “make or give a public speech or address” – These are in contrary to Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (freedom of expression).

    • February 1, 2012 3:03 pm

      hey Dawhiting; I was going to use your letter but there are a couple of technical slight inaccuracies..

      “Authorised Person” is defined as part of the document in “Interpretations” as:

      “means a constable or any person acting to enforce the byelaws in accordance with an authorisation given by the Mayor under section 380 of the Act”

      So they’ll most likely refer you back to that. I’d take this to mean they can authorise a bunch of stewards or security with badges to clear the square without the use of the police, and keep a small force on the side if need be to mop up objectors.

      Under point d) “Fail to comply with a reasonable direction given by an authorised person…”

      What is “Reasonable” has a definition in law so can be quantified. It used to be defined as “the view of a man on the upper deck of a Clapham Omnibus”.. more likely these days to be the person walking down the street waering a ipod. but it does have precendence, and is applied in court cases.

      So.. a “reasonable” direction might well just be them asking you to leave the square in a regular polite manner. I think if they shouted and smacked someone with a truncheo that wouldn’t be reasonable unless of course you’d objected then they might use “reasonable force” to eject you.

      I also note on a later section that they will also likely confiscate anything you’ve got with you sucha s the placard, skates, skateboard etc and if you’re not sure enoguh to give them your full name and address such items may be disposed of or destroyed.

      Definately the thin end of the wedge.

  15. January 30, 2012 11:13 pm

    Sent…

    This was the way China dealt with their malcontents.

    I expect the next thing is that tramps and rough sleepers will be accommodated, or moved to somewhere safely scruffy and uninteresting, for the duration of their ridiculous games: Cost £24 billion.

  16. January 30, 2012 11:32 pm

    Ok so these byelaws have been in place since (at least) 1972, and people have been taking no notice of them – protesting, demonstrating, feeding birds and flying kites, etc. – throughout that period, right? So absolutely we should object to them being confirmed. But we should also declare that we’ll continue the now time-honoured tradition of ignoring them, if our objections fail.

    • January 30, 2012 11:45 pm

      You’re right that these restrictions have been in place for many years, but it is the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 that has given draconian powers to the police and in conjunction with these byelaws seeks to criminalise such activity. In addition definitions of, for instance, who might constitute “an authorised person” have been widened and certain provisions have had their language subtly adjusted.

      In my mind there is no doubt that having used the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to clear most of the protesters out of Parliament Square a few days ago (but facing judicial review in one case and having found themselves unable to remove certain signs and placards) this is being used to shore things up and, probably, to ensure that protesters cannot return. So, in short, whether these or similar restrictions existed before, there now seems to be the appetite and an Olympic incentive to enforce them.

  17. Tom Gullen permalink
    January 31, 2012 8:37 am

    This blog post has misrepresented the text in my opinion.

    If you read the actual document you will see it’s not an offence to protest, they simply require permission first. I find that in the capacity of a byelaw this is reasonable. A detail conveniently omitted by the author of this blog post anyway, amongst other things.

    • clare permalink
      January 31, 2012 9:13 am

      Asking permission to protest. And what happens if permission is not granted?

      • Tom Gullen permalink
        January 31, 2012 9:29 am

        Ask them why not.

      • January 31, 2012 9:39 am

        Tom – I don’t think you’re being helpful nor genuine.

        For instance, the provision making it an offence to “fail to comply with a reasonable direction given by an authorised person to leave the square” is not part of activities for which one may seek permission. The definition of “authorised person” is much wider that envisaged in the PRSRA2011 and the maximum fines under that Act are 25 times larger.

        Whatever people’s arguments about these rules having existed nominally since the dawn of time, there is now an appetite to enforce them. If the SoS does not confirm them they do not come into effect.

        You don’t have to object, of course. But heckling those that do, is utterly meaningless – we’re not the ones who will make the decision. If you are in support of these measures, write to the email given in the post and say so.

      • Tom Gullen permalink
        January 31, 2012 2:07 pm

        I’m not sure if my last post got through or not? If your censoring them, that’s pretty hilarious and speaks large volumes for your journalistic integrity.

        I am not heckling people, I am genuinely interested in debating this issue.

        My problem with your post as I said before, is that it’s misrepresenting the bill. You then follow it up with emotionally charged language designed to motivate people to act. My problem with this is they are acting on bad information and hyperbole.

        We are talking about local authority here. Occam’s Razor would say that the reason they are introducing these Bylaws is to protect people, not that they are an evil arm of government. I’m not saying it’s right, but that it would help progress the discussion if you attempted to see it from their point of view.

        It’s a shame that you are unwilling to discuss this as it’s a genuine area of politics that worries me, closing in on peoples freedom to protest. However this blog post is hyperbole and makes it difficult to actually continue with any meaningful discussion.

      • January 31, 2012 2:36 pm

        Dear Tom, I claim no “journalistic integrity”. This is my blog, my thoughts, my space, my opinion. I am under no obligation to use less emotional language or to have a balanced approach. My viewpoint is partisan and my involvement personal. I make no secret of it.

        I spoke on something I came across and have given accurate information on it, including links for people to read the original material and make up their own minds, like you did.

        If you wish to go into a long discussion on the history of similar previous legislation or the philosophical justification for local byelaws which seek to protect citizens from the scourge of people holding signs or making speeches, why not do so on your blog? I will be happy to publish a link in these comments.

      • Sal permalink
        January 31, 2012 7:06 pm

        Tom, Sturdyblog’s level of outrage, anger, or whatever, is really not relevant, as he gave the links to the documents and you can see them for yourself. I feel very angry, myself, that they are preparing to use powers that have been out of use or even never in use, for so long that they need to be reformed and instated, ready for action when Boris or the government choose. It is clear that the intention is to turn central London’s main public spaces into no-go areas for demonstrations or occupations, except such as are ‘authorised’ by Boris. We used to laugh at countries like this one is rapidly becoming. There is a place for more than mere outrage or, as you, I think mistakenly, call it, ‘hyperbole’ in the description of the reality and the intentions that are on display here. However much one may wish to support the government in running the place properly, when it is so obvious that they are running it so that people have no voice or opportunity to protest, then support is best given in the form of the strongest possible opposition.

  18. Phil permalink
    January 31, 2012 9:19 am

    Yes, If proof were ever needed, we dont live in a free democracy any more in the UK. Dont protest or you WILL be arrested,charged,fingerprinted,DNA sample taken,and given a criminal conviction.

  19. Deborah permalink
    January 31, 2012 11:44 am

    No feeding the birds? No kite flying?

    They just banned Mary Poppins!

  20. Patrick Brett permalink
    January 31, 2012 4:02 pm

    Just read the whole thing and I firmly believe what we need now is a set of long lines of people all waiting to set up a folding chair and a sleeping bag in Trafalgar square, these lines should stretch to and across every bridge in the city of London. As soon as one person gets arrested and carted off another person steps up and puts their chair down and settles in, the jails and prisons will soon be overcrowded to the capacity that no more arrests can be made and then serious (needed) protests can resume as normal ;)

    As for the people being arrested they should all appeal against their charges and fines thereby tying up the legal system for years to come until this law is repealed and all are released without charge or fine. Then the claims for wrongful imprisonment should start and compensation claims be brought against the city of London for all those who were carted off during the initial stage of the action.

    I would be happy to personally start the line if I knew there were a few thousand people behind me to follow suit :D

    • Ashleigh Marsh permalink
      February 1, 2012 2:42 pm

      Last demo I went on was rerouted to the embankment with the TUC’s co-operation, and Trafalgar Square was barricaded with a 10 foot steel wall. There may not be a few thousand yet but at least a few dozen. A few thousand would be able to pool legal resources, though, which would help a lot.

  21. January 31, 2012 4:07 pm

    Byelaws? You know, I can edit things like that.

  22. January 31, 2012 6:39 pm

    I’m concerned about this and I am half way through writing my objection letter, but I just want to be clear.

    Under point 2 (Interpretation) it defines an “authorised person” as being a constable or someone appointed by the Mayor to enforce these Byelaws. So it would appear, on face value to have been defined, although there seems to be some wiggle room. My question is are there any limits on who the Mayor is allowed to grant authority to “enforce” these Byelaws. Conceivably he could appoint anyone, or is that not the case. I am worried in particular that this power could stretch beyond the police and PCSOs to private security firms for example. Or are there already laws in place that prevent this.

    Thanks

    • January 31, 2012 6:43 pm

      I think an authorised person as defined would include extra security contracted for the Olympics.

    • January 31, 2012 7:17 pm

      The present authorised persons – “Heritage Wardens” – are employed by Chubb Security Personnel Ltd.

  23. Sophie Zoghbi permalink
    February 1, 2012 12:37 am

    Good! About time! Can you bring these byelaws to St Paul’s Cathedral as well please? I am sick of walking past that stinking disgusting camp when I am on my way to and from work. St Paul’s is one of our most beautiful landmarks and is being ruined by a bunch of soap-dodging losers with no real aims or demands. They are just there, abusing our free country and our right to peaceful protest and the goodwill of the church. They aren’t even true to their name, Occupy LSX, seeing as they aren’t even outside the Stock Exchange! Scrounging hypocrites – they are causing a health hazard and making the whole area smell and look awful. Get rid!!!

    • Sal permalink
      February 1, 2012 1:39 am

      That’s a beautiful classic, Sophie, and if I could think of a prize for satire, I’d nominate you for it! Just one false note: the ‘I am sick of walking past’ bit. Doesn’t quite work, as it hands the victory to the protesters, see?

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 1, 2012 11:59 am

        No I don’t see! I don’t know what they are hoping to achieve but I am sure that making me feel sick is not on their agenda (if they even have one). I just want the stinking place cleared. End of.

      • Sal permalink
        February 1, 2012 1:00 pm

        Sophie, have you heard of the Titanic? Between the crunch on the iceberg and disappearance beneath the sea, there was a period of several hours. Some people tried to go on dancing, drinking cocktails and ignoring the noise, disruption and increasing tilt of the deck. Others ran about trying to find lifeboats, get them into the water and help the smallest and weakest to have a chance of survival.

        You seem to be looking at the people running about, turning up your nose and saying, ‘It makes me feel sick.’ I suggest that you are looking at the wrong people.

    • February 1, 2012 1:04 pm

      Sophie: Most of what you dislike about the protestors seems to be entirely based on appearance and lazy assumptions. So, if we’re interested in having a serious discussion, we can ignore these parts of your argument.

      You say they are in the wrong place. I would argue that they are in entirely the right place: The City of London. The Occupy movement’s organisational mechanics, no matter how messy they may be, are fully exposed. Discussions are public, and you can see propositions being voted on through consensus. None of this happens in the City of London, which is entirely – and purposely – hidden from public view. It’s amazing that died-in-the-pinstripe Capitalists can extol the virtues of the free market system when they’re in favour of tax havens, whose entire raison d’etre is providing market imperfection. The City of London is one of the biggest tax havens in the world, it’s the place St Paul’s is situated, St Paul’s being the most conspicuous symbol of Christianity in London. We shouldn’t forget that Christians are taught that usury is theft and that equality and cooperation is to be championed. The Church therefore shares its values with Occupy. The movement is allying itself with its ideological forebears.

      Also, this is as much a revolt against the dividing of public spaces as mandated by late Capitalism as it is the opacity of The City of London. In the UK 0.3% of people own 70% of the land. Public spaces are no longer public, which is necessarily a barrier to freedom of movement and assembly.

      You also say they have no aims or demands. This is wrong. The aim is to create a space outside of a neoliberal and capitalist framework in which to discuss issues and affect change from the ground up. This is currently happening. If you want a concrete vision or goals, I’m afraid you’ve missed the point. One of the many follies of late capitalism is an over-reliance on meeting targets and self-auditing to the point where it becomes a meaningless dance. No one can possibly say what the future might look like with Occupy’s influence, but if you’re after a set of values it would be equality, justice before the law and a true, functioning democracy. I think most people can agree that these things are good. The way to get these things is to participate directly rather than wait for political leaders to offer this “change” they keep promising to us. It’s a movement that’s tired of rhetoric, preening political egos and a complete lack of distinction between the political parties and the global political class as a whole.

      We are supposed to be waiting for world leaders to come up with “Capitalism with a Moral Code”. This is a farce. Capitalism is unaccountable to even those at the centre of it. How do they expect to bring checks and balances to something so nebulous. It’s like waging a war against terror. And no one has really laid out what this moral framework would look like. Where are these values going to come from? Or will it simply be more sacrificing of goats; Goodwin and Hester giving up, in relative terms, a laughably meagre portion of their status or income in a bid to dampen the flames of public outrage? Western powers have only really had global economic traction for a hundred years or so and we’re losing our grip fast thanks to the industrialisation and entrepreneurship of South and East Asian countries who have historically always held sway. This is compounded by a trans-global workforce, trans-global capital and a trans-global economic and political class that’s able to uproot itself and move anywhere it wishes. So instead of building struts to keep an unsound structure in place, thereby ensuring a bigger collapse further down the line, surely it makes far more sense to begin coming up with new ideas on how we can govern ourselves.

      You can patronise the protestors by taking the line that they should grow up and live in the REAL world (by which of course you will mean the current political-economic system) but you should understand that this means you’re asking those of us who support OccupyLSX to integrate themselves fully into a system which we roundly reject. That simply doesn’t add up.

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 1, 2012 2:50 pm

        I am all for peaceful protest but to stay there indefinitely with their stinking toilets and nasty-smelling food, ruining the area for everyone else is wrong. They are not achieving anything and would do well to go and get a job and stop making the place look like a dump.

      • February 1, 2012 4:13 pm

        Self-centred, arrogant, undemocratic – just a few of the more polite adjectives whcih could be applied to the charming Sophie! It is attitudes like hers which cause a nasty smell in our Capital, not the Occupy campaigners!!

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 1, 2012 3:14 pm

        Furthermore they are indeed in the wrong place as their name is Occupy LSX and they are not occupying LSX. They went for a soft target instead, shame on them. If their name was Occupy the City you would have a point.

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 1, 2012 4:04 pm

        PS I am going to get off this blog now as we will never agree! This is clearly a site in favour of the protestors so I have no place here. I just hope to see justice done for the decent people that have to live and work around St Paul’s, those whose business are being ruined and the taxpayers whose hard-earned money is being wasted on the occupation which is achieving nothing.

      • Sal permalink
        February 1, 2012 5:55 pm

        Sophie, It’s just a site. You are posting on it. I am posting on it and others are posting on it. Each of us is just one person, trying to make sense of the world. True, you don’t seem to see it the way most of us do, but then, as you have said, you work in the City; you are exposed to a lot of influence to make you think the other way. Your attitude to the protesters may be common where you work, and you may see no reason why OccupyLSX shouldn’t just be rounded up and got rid of. From my perspective, not rounding up most of the City and sticking them behind bars is an outrage against decency. We need to talk to you and you to us, if we are all to find a way forward that doesn’t dehumanise and delegitimise many good people. Go down to OccupyLSX. Speak to them. Read their paper.

      • Sal permalink
        February 2, 2012 3:49 pm

        It’s not the protesters who are jealous, Sophie, but the City which is greedy.

    • shaman permalink
      February 1, 2012 4:34 pm

      “Furthermore they are indeed in the wrong place as their name is Occupy LSX and they are not occupying LSX. They went for a soft target instead, shame on them. If their name was Occupy the City you would have a point.”

      LSX is in Paternoster Square. St Pauls is right outside the entrance to Paternoster Square. The camp is right between the entrance and St Pauls. It is directly outside the entrance to Paternoster Square, home of the London Stock Exchange. And you state that you walk past this camp every day?

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 1, 2012 8:54 pm

        Shaman – I know exactly where the Stock Exchange is! I can tell you now that St Paul’s Cathedral is not it. Yes, they are very near but believe me they are not the same place!.

        Sal – I have tried to talk to them a few mornings but i find them unrealistic and judgmental. They are not horrible people per se, sometimes they wave at me and say hi. I just disagree with the mess and smells they make. And whatever point they were trying to make, I would disagree with that camp! Even if I agreed with their principles. E.g. I have very strong feelings about trying to change the Dangerous Dogs Act but I wouldn’t agree with creating a camp to protest about it.

        Wendy – that just made me laugh!

        Ciao for now x

      • Sal permalink
        February 2, 2012 2:01 am

        ‘I just disagree with the mess and smells they make’. Sophie, the protest centres around the mess that the City is making of the world’s economy. The scale of its destruction and stink is many, many million times anything you could object to outside St Paul’s. Its actions, its greed and its disregard for consequences has thrown thousandsaround the world out of their homes, out of work, onto the streets, led to the cuts in public services that are happening here, cost the billions and billions of pounds of public money that has been poured into the black pit of shoring up the financial system and is still trying to save itself and its own riches at the expense of everyone else. How have you missed this?

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 2, 2012 1:13 pm

        To be honest I don’t think many people in the City are even thinking about the protest, it seems pretty irrelevant to most people here. It is just the likes of me that are bothered by it because of the way i come in to the City from Blackfriars I have to walk past it and hate the mess. I haven’t heard anyone discussing it for weeks now, so it’s a waste of time really, just causing a public nuisance for nothing. It said in the Standard that most of the tents are unoccupied at night as well which is just laughable! For most of the protestors it’s probably just sour grapes, I’m sure if they had money and a nice car and house they wouldn’t be protesting about anything!

      • Sal permalink
        February 2, 2012 2:30 pm

        ‘I’m sure if they had money and a nice car and house they wouldn’t be protesting about anything!’

        Whatever are your reasons for thinking that?

      • Sophie Zoghbi permalink
        February 2, 2012 3:34 pm

        Because most of their complaints seem to be about City bonuses and money. Jealousy is a horrible thing. If they were in a position to receive a nice bonus, I can bet you they wouldn’t hand it back. “Capitalism is crisis”. whatevs! They should stop going to Starbucks then.

  24. February 1, 2012 4:20 am

    Occupy London!
    http://vimeo.com/35803378

  25. February 1, 2012 6:04 am

    This is sneaky and outrageous! Needs stopping in its tracks – what is London coming to? A police state?

  26. February 1, 2012 3:13 pm

    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. were spreafing this on FB…

    I’ve written a response to the chap earlier that posted about the definition for “Authorised Person” and “Reasonable” as it does have definition in law..

    Those damn kite flyers though.. grrr.
    :-)

  27. February 1, 2012 3:31 pm

    The law is written by landowners, for landowners.

    If their own law moves against them, they rewrite it back into their favour.

    Democracy avails nothing when the distribution of power is more unequal.

    Because the law has all be written in the name of the people. We keep voting for it.

    So its no good blaming the tyrants. We have blessed them with our mandate.

    Perhaps we should be looking into our own hearts before judging others.

  28. February 1, 2012 4:27 pm

    Get a grip, everyone… It’s just for the Olympics… put your Human Rights Declarations of Incompatibilities in after the summer, please. Don’t you think London was embarrassed enough in the international community during the riots?

  29. February 2, 2012 12:24 am

    People Together!
    http://vimeo.com/35984177

  30. February 2, 2012 9:44 am

    Thank you for taking an interest in the plight of all of us in this world, including Sophie who is only employed by these dealers of nothing much. We cannot expect that the general public understands, there is still too much salt on the butter for them to worry. The political tribalism, an almost genetic masochismn perse, has us vote by the hundreds of thousands for the same doomsters. We need a credible choice at the ballot box, pragmatic, acting up to voters mandate and truly Independent, party dogma and same thinking has got us were we are. Thanks for the sample letter, will send Carl my little ditty, these laws are designed to frustrate us, but they do not stop us assembling by the thousand in places were tourists will want to be, it will not stop us all wearing orange or black if we so choose. what are they going to do if we all start singing verse, dare I say all in unison and knowing the lines?:) protests has so many forms and you do not need much more than your voice ansd determination. Sod them, where are they going to keep us all locked up?

    The sneakyness applied to publicise the order is typical of cowards, hidden and obscure, with intent, despicable behaviour from civil servants, it shows an attitude that tries dearly to please the Government of the day, regardless of civil decency and obligation to serve us. take care everyone. BTW. Some progressive thinkers and fellow supporters write on this exiting blog, we are following what you are doing. http://www.craigmurray.co.uk.

Trackbacks

  1. Do as you’re told, don’t say what you think: London 2012 » Tax Research UK
  2. New Byelaws Announced for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square | Defend The Right To Protest
  3. Democracy | Fusion Paranoia
  4. Byelaws Confirmed in Print for Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square | Defend the Right to Protest

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