Hold a banner in London, go to jail

This video says about itself:

15 February 2015

Several protesters were arrested at Parliament Square, London, on Saturday during a peaceful demonstration organised by the activist group Occupy Democracy.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Man in court for holding a banner

Thursday 6th August 2015

A “RIDICULOUS” case is being brought against a peaceful protester today, for holding a banner without permission.

Ryan O’Sullivan faces charges for holding a banner on Parliament Square without having requested Mayor Boris Johnson’s prior permission.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is bringing forward the suit against Mr O’Sullivan, who engaged in the alleged “prohibited activity.”

Mr O’Sullivan, who is being supported by the Occupy Democracy campaign, said: “It seems wrong that we have to ask Boris permission to protest outside Parliament.

“The fact I was asked to provide public liability insurance for holding a banner demonstrates how ridiculous things have become.

“The risk is that it will deter people from wanting to protest outside Parliament.”

Today’s hearing is part of the third in a series of trials which, according to the group, “demonstrate the absurdity of the policing of the Occupy Democracy protests.”

Twelve people have so far been acquitted of charges linked to the protests outside the Houses of Parliament last November.

Occupy Democracy legal adviser Matthew Varnham said: “Peaceful protest should never require authorisation.

“This point was made by the UN Special Rapporteur in his 2013 Report on the UK when he concluded that at most there should be a regime for notification.

“The fact we have seen people arrested for sitting on a tarpaulin and holding a banner, found to be unlawful because prior permission had not been sought, is an affront to the democractic principle of freedom of expression.”

An ongoing judicial review challenging Mr Johnson’s decision to exclude all protest from Parliament Square was launched by Occupy Democracy and human rights group Liberty this March.

7 thoughts on “Hold a banner in London, go to jail

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