Goodbye SOCPA?

IssueJune 2009
Feature by Milan Rai

Having been the first person to be prosecuted (and convicted and imprisoned) for organising an unauthorised protest near parliament, it seems to my dubious honour to be, perhaps, the last person the Crown Prosecution attempted to prosecute under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.

I was summonsed to Horseferry Road court on 7 May for reading the names of the Afghan dead without police permission on 7 October last year. After I pointed out that I had not been arrested, interviewed or charged with any offence, district judge Tubbs dismissed the case, awarded me my travel costs, and ruled the case “out of time”.

That’s the way the SOCPA goes – not with a bang, but a whimper.

Topics: Civil liberties