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“I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”- Groucho Marx

Waspsnest’s Contributors

The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

More bans from our freedom loving government – this time … loudhailers near Parliament.

Not outside Parliament love … move along now.

So much for respecting freedoms and repealing un-necessary laws …

A trawl through the latest Statutory Instruments reveals this little snippet coming into force on December 19th (emphasis mine) :

The Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011
(Commencement No. 2) Order 2011

Provisions coming into force on 19th December 2011
2. The day appointed for the coming into force of the following provisions of the Act is 19th
December 2011—
(a) section 141(1) (demonstrations in vicinity of Parliament: repeal of SOCPA 2005
provisions) insofar as it repeals section 137 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police
Act 2005(b);
(b) section 142 (controlled area of Parliament Square);
(c) section 143 (prohibited activities in controlled area of Parliament Square);

It looks so innocuous in that form (probably the whole point of this system of enactment orders) so you then have to go digging in the relevant legislation to see what they are banning (emphasis mine) :

143

Prohibited activities in controlled area of Parliament Square

(1)A constable or authorised officer who has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is doing, or is about to do, a prohibited activity may direct the person—(a)to cease doing that activity, or(b)(as the case may be) not to start doing that activity.

(2)For the purposes of this Part, a “prohibited activity” is any of the following—

(a)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.

(3)But an activity is not to be treated as a “prohibited activity” within subsection (2) if it is done—(a)for police, fire and rescue authority or ambulance purposes,(b)by or on behalf of a relevant authority, or(c)by a person so far as authorised under section 147 to do it (authorisation for operation of amplified noise equipment).

(4)In subsection (2)(a) “amplified noise equipment” means any device that is designed or adapted for amplifying sound, including (but not limited to)—

(a)loudspeakers, and

(b)loudhailers.

How long before that loudhailer ban gets extended to all “authorised” protests I wonder?

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2 comments to More bans from our freedom loving government – this time … loudhailers near Parliament.

  • microdave

    So it’s OK for Old Bill to shout at us through loudhailers, but not for us to reply in similar fashion???

    • Wasp

      microdave – looks that way yes and the new sections of that bill also give extensive powers of property seizure (with reasonable force if necessary) in the Parliament Square area.