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Freedom to Protest

London's lone protesters aim for mass impact

Stupid, repressive laws require creative and surreal responses. On 22 September, more than 100 “lone protesters” gathered simultaneously in London's Parliament Square in response to the ongoing criminalisation of protest within 1km of the Houses of Parliament - under provisions contained in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act. In a bid to overwhelm the Metropolitan Police with paperwork, those involved had all applied - and received permission - for their individual protests. The demands of protesters ranged from the serious to the downright wacky, and aimed to “highlight the danger and stupidity of having this law in a democracy”.

With such enthusiasm for burying Charing Cross police station in their own bureaucratic procedures, participants have decided to make the “lone protest” a regular affair at 5pm on the second or third Wednesday of each month. PN's editor and dog hope to participate in the next round - calling for “an end to the tyranny of the lead”. There's definitely nothing to “join”, but if you too would like to air your burning issue on the same day, see http://www.markthomasinfo.com for details.

Topics: Civil Liberties