Royal Wedding Arrests: One Year On

Royal wedding protesters challenge police over arrests – video

April 29, 2012

Fifty-five people were arrested on the day of the royal wedding last year, 30 of them for a potential breach of the peace. A year on, 15 of them are taking the police to court for a judicial review to challenge the tactics that were used that day against a ‘hypothetical protest that had already been criminalised’. They tell the Guardian why they want the law to change and discuss what the practice could mean for the policing of protests at the Olympics

Click here for the Guardian Video

Source = http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2012/apr/29/royal-wedding-protesters-challenge-police-video

The Charring Cross 10

“the Met have been going ’round, rounding up people for the royal wedding, to make sure there’s no problems.” – BTP Officer

The Charing Cross 10 are ten people who were on their way to the republican street party when they were stopped at Charing Cross station. They were violently arrested for ‘breach of the peace’ despite not having broken any laws. The Charing Cross 10 are stopped and searched. At 57 seconds the member of the British Transport Police states “the Met have been going ’round, rounding up people for the royal wedding, to make sure there’s no problems.” They then ask for the protestors’ details. When the protestors refused, as they were completely within their rights to do, the British Transport Police used Section 60 powers to stop and search them.

Starbucks Zombies

“I was told by the police, ‘if you’re going to dress like that, you’ve got to expect to be arrested’. And I thought I had to break the law to be arrested…” – Erich, one of the Starbucks Zombies

The Starbucks Zombies are five people who came to Soho Square for a zombie flashmob. The square was mostly empty when they arrived, but heavily policed. When the atmosphere seemed to turn they left the square and went to a nearby Starbucks. From here they were stopped and searched, illegally detained, and then arrested for ‘breach of the peace’. They were handcuffed, taken to Belgravia Police Station on the other side of London, and held in cells before being released without charge once the public celebrations were over. All because they were wearing fancy dress.

Frith Street Two

Two trans people on their way to the zombie flashmob in Soho Square, run by Queer Resistance, were detained, stopped and searched and arrested for breach of the peace after police found a tube of facepaint and a flyer for the flashmob. They were also sexually assaulted by the police officers who subjected them to unnecessary and illegal “intimate body searches”. These searches appeared to be purely to satisfy the individual police officers’ curiousity or to cause distress. The sexual assaults are being dealt with separately to the Judicial Review as that is a criminal law matter regarding the behaviour of individual officers. The Judicial Review will cover their arrest and detention.

“At around 10.30am we made our way out of the of the sq smelling trouble coming and not wanting any, as we walked out onto one of the a joining roads out of the area heading south we pulled our bandanas up as some paparazzi took our pictures, neither of us wanted our pictures used as part of some media stunt. As we moved further up the road we pulled our bandanas down as to not be concealing our faces, as we knew this would single us out, fat luck really because we had already been spotted by a group of 6 police officers, consisting of five male and 1 female officer who then proceeded to pull us over and use Section 60 to stop and search us.”

“when searching my person the female police officer said to me “Okay, I’m going to feel under your bra now” To which I replied “That’s not a bra” At this point her hands were still on my chest “What is it then?!” ”A binder” ”Whats a binder?” (At this point, may I point out her hands were STILL on my chest) To this I said “I’m Transgendered” … May I mention at this point, that I am a fully trained security guard? So I know how to do a pat down, that was not a pat down that was a grope and a violation of my privacy”

Charlie Veitch

Charlie Veitch, the founder of the peace activist group ‘The Love Police’, was pre-emptively arrested on Thursday the 28th of April 2011, around 1615h, on an allegation of a conspiracy to cause public nuisance. As the video evidence shows, Charlie was not read his rights, and no warrant was presented for his arrest or for the search of his living space. He was held for 16 hours at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge. Outraged locals, students, and activists protested outside the station, and concerned citizens from around the world inundated the station with phone calls to voice their concern of this totalitarian police behaviour. Parkside police were obstructive to his lawyer, family, and partner, let alone friends and supporters, by not providing any information of his wellbeing or whereabouts.

At around 1000h on Friday the 29th of April 2011, Charlie was collected by the Metropolitan Police from Parkside and taken to an undisclosed police station in London for 8 hours. Efforts by his lawyer, family, and partner to locate him were made in vain – he had effectively been ‘disappeared’ into the police system. Charlie was denied his right to a phone call from London, again continuing the obstruction of his access to his lawyer, family, partner and supporters. He requested that the police telephone his partner to inform her of his whereabouts, which was promised but not performed. With his family in the dark as to his whereabouts, concern was considerably growing. Charlie was eventually released on bail 23 hours and 45 minutes after his arrest at approximately 1600h on Friday 29th April from Edmonton Police Station, London – just within the 24 hour limit that a person can be lawfully arrested and detained without charge.

The guillotine 3

Retired anthropology professor Chris Knight, anthropology professor Camilla Powers and another associate of theirs were arrested on April 28th (the day before) for ‘conspiracy to create a public nuisance’ as they had planned to do street theatre related to the royal wedding.

James Newman

“It looked like anyone who was wearing fancy dress was being detained and it appeared that arrests were being made has the people never did arrive at Soho Square which was just around the corner” – James Newman

Today I went to Soho Square in order to get some footage of a Zombie Party that was meant to be happening there.  When I arrived I noticed how empty the place nearly was.  There were more police then press and more press then the Zombies. It became clear after a while that many people were being prevented from getting to Soho Square. I saw people dressed as Zombies held for long periods on Oxford Street and around 30 police officers were waiting around one corner while a group of 20 waited at another corner. It looked like anyone who was wearing fancy dress was being detained and it appeared that arrests were being made has the people never did arrive at Soho Square which was just around the corner.

I was not able to find an internet cafe to upload my memory card so I made my way back to Soho Square where I spoke with the BBC reporter to explain this problem.  He arranged for me to go to British Broadcasting House in Regent Street and gave me directions. I noticed that two police officers at Soho were following me.  They had seen me speaking with the BBC reporter before I left.  When I got within 1 minute of the BBC on Regent Street I saw a police van stop and two officers looking at me while they ran over. I turned on my camera and started recording.  This appeared to anger one of the officers who grabbed my left arm while other officers arrived and grabbed hold of my other arm.  I was told it was a Section 60 stop and search.  At this point both my arms were being held and then another officer ripped my camera from my hand.  After some time I was arrested for suspicion of handling a stolen credit card which was my card with my name on it. When I arrived at West End Central I was informed by a police officer that this is where they took the Kray’s brothers. Whilst in the station I noticed some faces that I recognized from Soho Square. It took some time for the duty sergeant to process me through but once he was done I was taken to have my photos taken. I then had to go for another set of photos with a lady.

Court Case

“It is our view that the treatment of our clients was unlawful under common law and was in breach of their fundamental rights under the European Court of Human Rights articles 5, 8, 10 and 11,” said a spokesperson from Bhatt Murphy. “The apparent existence of an underlying policy that resulted in those arrests is a matter of considerable concern with implications for all those engaged in peaceful dissent or protest.”

Many of those arrested have decided to challenge the legality of their arrests. They have been granted permission for a Judicial Review which will take place on the 28th May – 1st of June 2012. They are being represented by both Bindmans and Bhatt Murphy solicitors. Unlike a Private or Civil Law claim (which would have been easier to achieve), a Judicial Review is an investigation which can and will go as high up the chain as is necessary to find out what the policies were and who made what decisions. Private or Civil Law claims would have likely resulted in an offer of compensation money before the case ever got to a judgement, but the claimants wanted a proper investigation and a judgement at the end of it to set a precedent for future policing. The claimants want to make sure that what happened to them cannot happen again.

Those involved hope to prove that there was (as the evidence seems to indicate) an over-arching policy of pre-emptive arrest that day. It is hoped that the Judicial Review will clarify that the Met’s policing of the royal wedding was illegal and that similar actions cannot be repeated. It is especially concerning as it is believed in some circles that the royal wedding was used as a ‘dry-run’ for the policing tactics which will be used during the olympics and the jubilee in 2012.

Source = http://pageantryandprecrime.wordpress.com/

Video Play List April 28/29, 2011

Other Sources:

Royal wedding: police criticised for pre-emptive strikes against protesters

The protester had only got a few bars into his version of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, recast as “we all live in a fascist regime”, when the plain clothes officers moved in. Inside Westminster Abbey, Prince William and Catherine Middleton were exchanging vows watched by millions, but in nearby Soho Square, the expression of different views by a few people met a robust and, according to some present, disproportionate response. About a dozen policemen grabbed the singer, sparking a clash with his colleagues, changing the mood of a small and peaceful gathering as he was handcuffed and bundled away. “He had articles on him to cause criminal damage,” explained Chief Inspector John Dale, to loud protests.

“You just incited a peaceful situation into violence,” shouted a bystander. “The police should be peaceful and respect our right to protest,” said another witness, Jed, 19. The action against the 10 or so people participating in the Right Royal Orgy in Soho Square was one of several pre-emptive strikes by Scotland Yard. Police said they made a total of 52 arrests including 13 at Charing Cross station, where people were found to have climbing equipment and anti-monarchy placards, in addition to 21 arrests during raids of five squats in London on Thursday morning.

Source = http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/29/royal-wedding-police-criticised-protesters

Royal wedding protest: three anti-capitalist activists arrested

Three anti-capitalist activists who were planning a mock execution of Prince Andrew with a guillotine to mark the royal wedding have been arrested and detained at Lewisham police station. Officers arrested Professor Chris Knight, a leading member of the G20 Meltdown group, outside his home in Brockley, south east London at around 6.15pm, according to an eyewitness. Also arrested were Knight’s partner Camilla Power and Patrick Macroidan, who was dressed as an executioner, said fellow activist Mike Raddie, of north London, who was with them. The three activists were preparing to drive their theatrical props, including a home-made guillotine and effigies, into central London when three police cars and two police vans drew up near Knight’s home in Brockley, said Raddie. “Chris was arrested first. He lay down on the pavement opposite his house to make the arrest difficult,” said Raddie. “He was pulled up by four police officers and two bundled him into the back of a van.

“Camilla was put in the back of one of the police cars. Patrick was dressed up as an executioner when he was arrested.” Raddie said the police also seized a van containing the group’s props, which included a wooden guillotine. “It’s a working guillotine but it doesn’t have a blade – just wood painted silver,” he added. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “This evening, 28 April, officers arrested three people – two males aged 68 and 45, and a 60-year-old woman – in Wickham Road, SE4 on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace.  “They are currently in custody at Lewisham police station.” The group has advertised the Zombie Wedding on its website and via Facebook. The event was billed as a “right royal orgy” with “rumpy pumpy and guillotines.” It also states: “PS govt of the DEAD disclaimer: this is a totally non-terrorist event and bears absolutely no resemblance to the Jacobin Terror of 1793-94.” The website said the event would start with a Zombie Wedding Breakfast in Soho Square at around 9.30-10am, after which participants would head to Westminster for mock executions.

Source = http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/apr/28/royal-wedding-protest-three-arrested

Met offer £5,000 compensation to arrested royal wedding protester

A protester who was held in police cells for six hours during a crackdown on street protests during the royal wedding has received £5,000 compensation and an official apology from the Metropolitan police. Republican, Adam Moniz, 30, was arrested by 10 officers and kept locked up in custody for the duration of the wedding while attempting to make his way to a council-approved demonstration nearly a mile away from Buckingham Palace that morning. His detention was part of dozens of other “pre-crime” arrests that took place around the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William on 29 April. The arrests were later condemned by activists and lawyers as “Orwellian” and potentially illegal. Moniz, who was travelling alone by train from his home in Southampton had been planning to join other republicans in Red Lion square, Holborn, at an event registered by Camden council called Not the Royal Wedding.

Moniz was first stopped by British Transport police (BTP) when they boarded his train at Clapham Junction and discovered his banner which read “democracy not monarchy”. Moniz said he told them he was planning to attend the Red Lion square event and even offered to turn back but that the BTP officers told him he should continue with his journey. However, when he alighted at Victoria station, Moniz was searched and arrested on suspicion of an “anticipated” breach of the peace. In a letter from the directorate of professional standards, the branch of the Met that deals with conduct and behaviour, police apologised to Moniz for “distress” suffered as a result of his arrest.

Signed by acting detective superintendant Mark Eley, the letter admits that policing of “large scale public order events is a challenging task”, and that the balance of “rights and freedoms” between different parties had “not been achieved” in Moniz’s case. Speaking about the Met’s apology Moniz said: “I was treated like a criminal just so that someone else could be treated like a prince. I was denied freedom of movement through central London and freedom of expression purely because of my republican beliefs.” He added that the events underlined the importance of the phrase on his banner, “Democracy not Monarchy”. Moniz’s lawyer Sarah McSherry, from the firm Christian Khan said: “Mr Moniz’s arrest and detention constituted a breach of his fundamental and democratic right to protest … The [Metropolitan police] commissioner, when challenged, has compensated our client, destroyed all photographs taken of him, apologised for the arrest and confirmed that any record of it will reflect that Mr Moniz was paid damages and an apology made.”

Source = http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/sep/23/met-compensation-royal-wedding-protester

Royal Wedding Day ‘zombie’ takes cops to court – Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, arrested during “fun day out”

November 18, 2011

A WRITER who claims she was arrested for being dressed as a zombie on the day of the Royal Wedding has won the right to challenge the actions of police in the High Court. Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, 25, says she and three friends were arrested in a West End branch of Starbucks after they dressed up as the undead as part of a “fun day out”. They had been en route to a “zombie flashmob” in Soho Square, which was organised to highlight the impact of funding cuts on HIV clinics and hate crime, when they were allegedly deprived of their liberty along with others who were on their way to a republican street party.

Ms Eiseman-Renyard, who lives in Islington, said that shortly after noon on April 29, as Prince William married Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey, she and her friends, who were wearing bloody face paint, were handcuffed and driven to Belgravia Police Station, where they were held for around three hours before being released without charge. She added: “There were signs up saying cells had been cleared especially for the Royal Wedding.” The High Court will make a judgment on the case in the New Year after the group was granted a judicial review. A spokesman for solicitors Bhatt Murphy, who are representing them, said: “The treatment of our clients was unlawful under common law and was in breach of their fundamental rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Source = http://www.westendextra.com/news/2011/nov/royal-wedding-day-%E2%80%98zombie%E2%80%99-takes-cops-court-hannah-eiseman-renyard-arrested-during-fun

London Police Sexually Assault 2 Trans People During Royal Wedding?

Anger is building within the UK’s trans community today following reports that heavy-handed security during Friday’s royal wedding led to at least two trans individuals being sexually assaulted – by the police. Allegations are still to be tested, but those familiar with the UK’s policing record over the last few years – bouncing from over-soft to ludicrously heavy in response to political pressures from on high – suspect there may well be more than a smidgeon of truth in the story. As the world looked on through rose-tinted spectacles, here and there in London, small groups of protesters gathered to contrast, in mostly good-natured fashion, the opulence of the royal ceremony with the reality of swingeing public services cuts across the rest of the UK. Radical street theatre, left-wing poetry readings and a zombie flashmob party organised by members of the UK’s gender queer community, in Soho Square, at the heart of LGBT London, were just some of the events on the royalty sceptic agenda. The police (London’s Metropolitan force, or “the Met”, as they are more commonly known) were not amused. They invoked fairly draconian powers (s60) that enabled them to stop and search anyone, without the safeguard that those in the US would know as “reasonable cause”. They also arrested people, taking them off the street temporarily and then releasing them without charge, by adapting some fairly antiquated laws around “breach of the peace”.

Examples of things that might have got you arrested on Friday? Possession of a tube of paint. Possession of a leaflet. Or in one instance, apparently, possession of that most dangerous of weapons: a pen. Broadly speaking, the police seemed to be continuing a pattern established at recent more violent demonstrations: coming down hard on those protesting peacefully and with wit; tip-toeing away from anyone better organised and more violent. All of which sets the stage for the alleged sexual assault of a trans man, Logan Le’Belle, and a trans woman, as described in an initial piece in Lesbilicious and in the blog fanoffury. They arrived early to take place in the flashmob zombie party, saw that police were dispersing it, and decided to walk on by. It made no difference. They were spotted by a group of 6 police officers, consisting of five male and 1 female officer who then proceeded to stop and search them. Logan described the experience thus: “When searching my person the female police officer said to me ‘Okay, I’m going to feel under your bra now’, to which I replied ‘That’s not a bra.'”

Source = http://www.bilerico.com/2011/05/london_police_sexually_assault_2_trans_people_duri.php

Democracy in the UK?

Today I went to Soho Square in order to get some footage of a Zombie Party that was meant to be happening there.  When I arrived I noticed how empty the place nearly was.  There were more police then press and more press then the Zombies.  It became clear after a while that many people were being prevented from getting to Soho Square. I saw people dressed as Zombies held for long periods on Oxford Street and around 30 police officers were waiting around one corner while a group of 20 waited at another corner.

Source = https://4therecord.org/2011/04/30/democracy-in-the-uk/

The royal ban on Free Speech and Protest – April 29

Charlie Veitch, the founder of the peace activist group ‘The Love Police’, was pre-emptively arrested on Thursday the 28th of April 2011, around 1615h, on an allegation of a conspiracy to cause public nuisance. As the video evidence shows, Charlie was not read his rights, and no warrant was presented for his arrest or for the search of his living space. He was held for 16 hours at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge. Outraged locals, students, and activists protested outside the station, and concerned citizens from around the world inundated the station with phone calls to voice their concern of this totalitarian police behaviour. Parkside police were obstructive to his lawyer, family, and partner, let alone friends and supporters, by not providing any information of his wellbeing or whereabouts.

Source = https://4therecord.org/2011/05/04/the-royal-ban-on-free-speech-and-protest-april-29/

Stop and Search FAQ:

Stop and Search

Why do the police in London use stop and search?

The use of stop and search powers allow the police to tackle crime and anti social behaviour, and to prevent more serious crimes occurring.

Generally stop and search happens in public places – in the area around football matches, for example, or in neighbourhoods that have been experiencing problems with crime or vandalism.

The police have the legal right to stop members of the public and search them for a variety of reasons and using a number of powers, including :

  • Section 60 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, gives police the right to search people in a defined area at a specific time when they believe, with good reason, that: there is the possibility of serious violence; or that a person is carrying a dangerous object or offensive weapon; or that an incident involving serious violence has taken place and a dangerous instrument or offensive weapon used in the incident is being carried in the locality. This law has to be authorised by a senior officer and is used mainly to tackle football hooliganism and gang fights.

Across London you may encounter three different police forces, the Metropolitan Police Service, City of London Police and the British Transport Police. Officers from these three forces, at various times, work together on specific crime and terrorist operations.

Who can stop me?

  • A police officer, or
  • A police community support officer.

A police community support officer must be in uniform. A police officer does not have to be in uniform but if they are not wearing uniform they must show you their warrant card.

Where can I be searched?

  • In a public place
  • Anywhere, if the police believe you have committed a crime

If you are in a public place, you only have to take off your coat or jacket and your gloves, unless you have been stopped in relation to terrorism or where the officer believes you are using clothes to hide your identity

If the officer asks you to take off more than this or anything you wear for religious reasons, such as a face scarf, veil or turban, they must take you somewhere out of public view. This does not mean you are being arrested. In this case, the police officer that searches you must be the same sex as you.

What can I expect from the officer stopping or searching me?

The officer must be polite and respectful at all times. The Metropolitan Police are committed to continuously improving standards around the delivery of service to London’s communities.

All stops and stops and searches must be carried out with courtesy, consideration and respect.

We are aware that the process may take a little time but the process should be handled quickly and professionally.

The police officer will ask a few questions and then if necessary search you.

The search is not voluntary. If you do not cooperate the officer can use reasonable force to conduct the search.

Police officers, and police community support officers must use stop and search powers fairly, responsibly and without discrimination.

During a stop and search what information will the police ask for?

The police have a legal requirement to include certain information from individuals who have been stopped and searched. This includes:

  • Date and time of the stop and search
  • Location of the stop and search
  • Why they stopped you, the grounds
  • What they were looking for
  • Names of the officers conducting the search and others present

The police officer will ask for your name and address and date of birth. You do not have to give this information if you don’t want to, unless the police officer says they are reporting you for an offence.

Everyone who is stopped or stopped and searched will be asked to define his or her ethnic background. You can choose from a list of national census categories that the officer will show you.

You do not have to say what it is if you don’t want to, but the officer is required to record this on the form. The ethnicity question help community representatives make sure the police are using their powers fairly and properly.

Source = http://www.met.police.uk/stopandsearch/what_is.htm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s