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Maria challenges PRASRA

On 5 March, Parliament Square protester Maria Gallastegui had her day in court contesting the new restrictions on demonstrating around parliament.

Maria was the only Parliament Square camper given leave to challenge the new Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (PRASRA), which replaces the provisions of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 (SOCPA) which expired at the end of March.

As PN went to press, it was still not clear when the high court would announce its decision. ‘Originally, they said they would make a decision [in the week of 20 March],’ Maria told PN. ‘However, they keep on pushing the date back. They know they don’t really have a case, since PRASRA is a discretionary law.’

Maria, who has been protesting agasint the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2006, was granted an injunction against PRASRA on 16 January, hours before she was to be evicted (see PN 2542).

As we went to press, on 26 March, Maria was appearing in court on another matter. Along with fellow anti-war activists Chris Cloverdale and Barbara Tucker, she was facing charges of highway obstruction, brought by Westminster council in January 2011. If found guilty, Maria will be forced to take down her camp.

More on SOCPA and PRASRA on p6. More info:

Topics: Civil Liberties