The Right to Party
How to stay out of trouble from the Criminal Injustice Act …….
…. if you can!!
Well, it’s happened. In spite of the shouting, marching on the demonstrations, action days, writing to MP’s, (limited) media interest, benefit parties and gigs, national awareness tours, warnings from welfare and homeless advice agencies, more warnings from the police who, an officer confided in me, were frightened of being `piggy in the middle!’. A false democracy in action from a minority government. They have taken awesome powers to themselves in the CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND PUBLIC ORDER ACT 1994. It came into force on the 4th of November 1994.
We are well concerned for peoples’ health, well-being and safety!!!! There will be in the coming months…years, much distress, crying, busts, evictions, stop and searches, bans on protest, surveillance, party pooping by blue meenies. By being informed, you’ll be best protected. The object of all this crap is to provide the tools to the establishment to continue to do what THEY have always done, to discourage deviance and experiments in lifestyles, art, culture. To get you back under their thumb and maintain their vested interests. The new laws mean that they don’t have to do it to us behind the bike sheds anymore! Policing has just moved from being with the consent of the community, to being an army of occupation moving as a military unit against civilians.
In the belief that information equals power, we offer these notes to help you understand what the authorities are trying to do and explain what powers they now have. Frequently, police will try to exceed their powers. So please, take notes (tape recording, photographs etc) and tell Liberty about abuses. They have recently set up a monitoring group to point at the injustices that are bound to follow.
We need to be creative in making them difficult to operate. At time of writing, about 246 have now been arrested under the new legislation so it’s too soon to have gained that much experience of how everything is going to operate. Watch this space…
Please, get yourselves clued up. What ever it was that you were going to do. Carrying on doing it!! Please don’t be intimidated. It is important that we look out for each other in support. We are non-political and non-violent.
This advice had been produced and circulated with help from: ALL SYSTEMS GO!!!
Right of Silence
Allows a court trying a person for an offence to `draw such inferences … as appear proper’ from the failure of an accused person to mention a fact which he could reasonably have been expected to mention, on being questioned under caution, before being charged, or upon being charges, with that offence. If the accused does not give evidence at his trial (s35) allows the judge or magistrate or jury to `draw such inferences as appear proper’ from that failure.
These `inferences’ extend to a failure to account for objects or substances in his possession or marks on his person (s36) and failure to account for his presence at a particular place (s37).
Provides for a non-intimate sample to be taken, without appropriate consent, if a person has been charged with a recordable offence or if he has been convicted of a recordable offence. It also provides for the taking of an intimate sample for DNA screening from a person not in police detention if two or more non-intimate samples have been taken and proved insufficient. `Intimate sample’ has been widened to include a dental impression (s58). The definition of intimate search in (s65) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) has been widened to include a search of a person’s mouth (s59).
Stop and Search
In anticipation of `incidents involving serious violence’ in any locality in their area, a superintendent or above may authorise stopping and searching of persons and vehicles for offensive weapons or dangerous instruments (i.e. having a blade or sharp point) at any place in that locality for a period of up to 24 hours.
Authorisation may be by an inspector if serious violence is `imminent’ and no superintendent is available. A constable may search in exercise of these powers, `whether or not he has any grounds for suspecting’, that the person or vehicle is carrying weapons or articles of that kind.
Failure to stop when required to do so by a constable is a summary offence (i.e. only heard in a magistrates court), punishable by one month imprisonment, or fine or both.
Trespassing on Land
Power of senior officer present at scene to direct trespassers on land to move if:
(a) six or more vehicles are present on the site (previously 12).OR
(b) damage is caused to land, or property on the land, (`damage’ now includes deposit of any substance capable of polluting the land).OR
(c) trespassers have used threatening words or behaviour to occupier, his family or employee.AND
(d) the occupier has asked trespassers to leave.Section 39 of the Public Order Act 1986 is repealed and replaced by this section. (this used to refer to `not more that 12 vehicles’).
The discretion of a senior officer to exercise the power remains, and failure to comply with direction as soon as is reasonably practicable, or re-entering as a trespasser within three months. This is a summary offence, liable on conviction to three months imprisonment, a fine or both. This section carries the power of arrest without warrant.
This provides power for a constable to seize and remove any vehicle which has not been removed (if there is no reasonable excuse) following the giving of a direction under s61 or where a person re-enters the same land as a trespasser within three months of the direction being given.
Raves are defined as: `A gathering on land in the open air (includes partly open to air) of 100 or more persons (whether or not trespassers) at which amplified music is played during the night … and … by reason of its loudness and duration and the time at which it is played, is likely to cause serious distress to the inhabitants of that locality’.
Music is defined as including `sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’. If two or more persons are preparing for such a gathering, or 10 or more persons are waiting for, or attending such a gathering, then a superintendent or above may direct, via any constable, that they and any others who turn up must leave the land and remove any vehicles or other property.
Exempt persons to whom the power will not apply include the occupier of the land, his family and employees.
Failure to leave the land knowing that a direction has been given, or re-entry within seven days, is a summary offence punishable by a maximum of three months imprisonment, or fine or both and is arrestable without warrant.
The power does not apply if the gathering has an entertainment’s licence.
Empowers a superintendent to authorise a constable to enter land without a warrant to check whether such a gathering is taking, or is likely to take place, and also authorises the seizure of vehicle and sound systems if they are not removed from the land once a direction has been given. (occupiers of the land are exempt).
Enables a constable in uniform, who reasonably believes that a person is on his way to a gathering to which s63 applies, to stop that person and direct him not to proceed provided that the constable is within five miles of the boundary of the site of the gathering. Ignoring the constable’s direction not to proceed is an offence arrestable without warrant and punishable by a fine.
A person convicted of a s63 offence may be ordered by a court to forfeit his sound equipment.
Defines this new offence as trespassing on land in the open air and – in relation to any lawful activity which people are engaged in, or about to engage in on that or adjoining land – doing anything with the intention of it having the effect of intimidating those persons or any of them into ceasing that activity, or obstructing or disrupting that activity.The offence is a summary one, liable to three months imprisonment or a fine or both, and is arrestable without warrant. The offence is not committed by intimidatory behaviour taking place on a highway, but does apply to footpaths, bridle ways and byways. Persons committing or intending to commit the offence of aggravated trespass may be directed to leave the land by the senior officer present at the scene and failure to leave, or re-enter within three months, is an offence subject to three months imprisonment or a fine or both, and arrestable without a warrant.
This is a new section, 14A, to the Public Order Act 1986. It applies to assembly, by 20 or more persons, at a place on land, in the open air, to which the public have limited or no right of access and where the chief police officer reasonably believes the assembly is likely to be held without permission of the occupier of the land, or is likely to exceed limits of his permission or public’s right of access, and may result in `serious disruption to the life of the community’ or damage to land or building which is of historical, architectural or scientific importance, he may apply to the local council for an order prohibiting – for a specified period – the holding of all trespassory assemblies in the district. In London and the City either commissioner may, with the consent of the Secretary of State, make such an order. The prohibition may not exceed four days or cover an area exceeding a radius of five miles from a specified centre.New section 14B makes organising or taking part in, or inciting to take part in, a prohibited assembly an offence arrestable, without warrant and punishable by a fine. Organising or inciting is punishable by imprisonment.
New section, 14C, in the Public Order Act provides a power to stop persons from proceeding to trespassory assemblies, exercisable by a constable in uniform, and contravention of his direction not to proceed is an offence arrestable without warrant punishable by a fine.
Causing Harassment, Alarm or Distress
Adds new section, 4A, to the Public Order Act 1986, containing the offence of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress by threatening behaviour or display writing or other visual representation. Arrestable, without warrant and liable on summary conviction to a fine, six months imprisonment or both. Section 155
Makes offence of publishing racially inflammatory material (s19 Public Order Act 1986). It is arrestable.
Relates to section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977 – using violence to gain entry to premises where a person on the premises opposes, and is known to oppose, entry. This is now changed so as not to apply to a displaced residential occupier or protected intending occupier, or someone operating on his behalf.Knowingly or recklessly making a false statement about one’s protected intending occupier status is an offence under new s12A of the Criminal Law Act 1977 (s74) and making a false or misleading statement for the purposes of obtaining an interim possession order (s75), liable in both cases to six months imprisonment or a fine or both. Trespassing on premises during the currency of an interim possession order, or within one year after an order has been served, is an offence arrestable without warrant and punishable by up to six months imprisonment, a fine or both. A person in occupation has 24 hours after service of the order in which to leave the premises before the offence is committed (s76)
…did you know?
1650…13 people were executed at Bury St Edmonds for the crime of being a gypsy
1822…the Vagrancy Act in England declared that all persons lodging in tents, carts or wagons were deemed to be rogues and vagabonds with a penalty of 6 months in prison.
1852…Gypsies were still being sold as slaves in Europe.
1939-45…the Nazis exterminated over one million gypsies. In recent years there has been a dramatic increase in racially motivated violence against Gypsies in Europe.
1992…the British Government announced plans to legislate against Gypsies. John Carisle (Con MP – Luton North) said: `The time has come to banish Gypsies into the wilderness’. Bowen Wells (Con MP – Hertford and Stortford) published a leaflet entitled `Conservatives against Gypsies’ and yet David MacLean, Home Office Minister claims: `The government has no quarrel with the nomadic way of life’.
1994…the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act will outlaw unauthorised camping. Also the repeal of the Caravan Sites Act 1968 – the only official provision for Gypsies in this country.
The battle for Hyde Park:a historical perspective
During the last two centuries there has been plenty of gatherings in Hyde Park, and although to most of us the noise of the crowds, beat of the sound systems and thud of mounted hooves still echoes on from October 9th, we were definitely not the first to kick up a fuss, nor the first to take an (attempted) beating for it…
1855: `it looked as if the demonstration was going to simmer down to harmless Sunday amusements, but the police reckoned differently’
1866: `the police brought their truncheons into active use, and a number of the roughs were somewhat severely handled’
1932: `mounted police charged forward only to be repulsed by thousands of workers who tore up railings and used them as weapons and barricades’
1994: `the flash point came when thugs opposed to legislation against raves tried to turn the park into a giant party’
Lord Grosvenor Sunday trading bill in 1855 so incensed the poorer members of the population; who were mainly paid late on Saturdays and so needed to shop on Sunday; that a gathering was called in Hyde park for Sunday June 25th. The hypocrisy of the aristocracy who paraded up and down on Sundays while stopping others from enjoying themselves was enough of a reason for upwards of 200,000 to gather. The police attempts to divide the crowds and disrupt the meetings were met with cries of `to the carriages’ and the road past the serpentine was lined deep with people, all hurling abuse at the parading gentry.855:…until a week later when even the police said there were 150.000 by 2.30pm , back along the road by the serpentine. But this time the toffs had wised up and stayed away from the throngs who under the New Sunday Bill were prohibited newspapers, shaving, smoking, eating and drinking . But the 800 constables felt unable to leave the crowd and instead began to arrest people at random – allegedly pickpockets – until they had provoked the crowd enough for them to feel justified in drawing their truncheons out and staves. Heads were bloodied and snatch arrests claimed 104 people.By 1866 it was the Reform League for universal male suffrage – working men did not yet have the vote, never mind women – who called a meeting in the park, which was banned by the home secretary Spencer Walpole, whereby their cause became as much the `right to assembly’ (sound familiar?) as the right to vote. There were 1,800 mounted police present, flanked by Foot and Life Guards with bayonets fixed, and the gates heavily guarded. But the fences around the park could not be and the crowds flattened them, scuffling with the police while they did, and eventually broke through in their `hundreds of thousands’ to defiantly hold their meetings
The women’s suffragettes movement had by 1914 become increasingly bitter with the more militant women being jailed and forcibly fed. They too were banned from meeting in the park, and when the Ulster Unionist Militants organised a demonstration there it was too much of a challenge for the suffragettes to pass up. Flora Drummond was hoisted shoulder high to speak and promptly arrested, meanwhile other women rushed the Ulster platforms and made unauthorised speeches before being suppressed by the police. They also donned swimming costumes and defiantly swam out to the boats tied in the serpentine. 1931 the unemployment benefit rate had been cut by 10% and means testing introduced, cutting off over a million claimants. So in September ’32 a hunger march set off from Scotland, to be welcomed by 100,000 London workers on arrival at the park. But as the last contingent of marchers entered the park, special constables `lost their heads’ and drew their truncheons to try and control the crowds. The workers turned on them and wide scale fighting continued throughout the afternoon. Mounted police charged and were fought off with railings until finally the workers broke through into the park to protect and march out with the hunger marchers.1994: The widespread powers of the proposed Criminal Justice Bill united 100,000 people who marched on the park and gathered there in relative peace until the sound systems, bringing up the rear, were refused entry. A stand-off ensued, with riot police ushered in to `oversee’ an already tense situation. Missiles were thrown and eventually the gates were opened. Repeated mounted police charges at the rest of those gathered inevitably provoked a hostile response, resulting in a stand-off either side of the fence along Park Lane, until huge reinforcements (who had earlier been sent home), divided the crowd from the rear, squashing and beating those who got in their way.
Ton Up Sabs Still Biting Back
By the time you read this, there will have been over 100 hunt saboteurs arrested under theCJA, accounting for the majority of people of any description so far arrested under this act. The first sab to come to trial was a Tynedale sab, Andrew Watson at Hexham Magistrates Court on Fri. 27 January. If you are interested in attending any demos at these court appearances, ring the HSA for information. Most of the arrests have been under Section 68 of the act (Aggravated Trespass) although there are a few under Section 69 (Failure to leave land etc.).Implementation of the new powers has been generally slow and patchy, with some forces (i.e. Nottinghamshire) content to police hunts as previously and have yet to make any arrests. One notable exception to this reluctance to act as Michael Howard’s and the hunts’ private army has been Northamptonshire Constabulary and in particular the Kettering Police. Northamptonshire sabs were the first to be arrested in the country and have continued to be harassed into the new year. The response of sabs in this area has been a significant increase in the numbers of sabs and hunts attended. This legislation is definitely having the opposite of the desired effect. The police are reluctant because they know they can’t afford full implementation. Take the Shoreham live export demos for instance. Sussex police who dare not use their new powers on `respectable old ladies’ in the full glare of publicity, are on the verge of bankruptcy after policing these demos. As a bonus, many hunts in the south are cancelling their meets as all the plods are on the docks and unavailable to round up the `antis’.
We should know in the near future if this legislation is going to stand up in court, but whatever happens it’s business as usual. For information on your local sab group, ring the Hunt Saboteurs Association on 0115 9590357.
Rights on arrest advice
In practice you have few enforceable rights against the police: even evidence illegally obtained by them can be used against you in court. You have the right to be treated fairly and with respect by the police.
Right of silence
You have a right of silence. However, if you do not answer questions put to you by the police or if you do not give evidence at your trial, this may be taken into account when deciding if you are guilty of the crime.
There may be times when if you give an innocent explanation for what you have done, the police may leave you alone.
It is wise not to discuss the case with the police until you have consulted privately with a solicitor.
If the police are about to arrest you or have arrested you there is no such thing as a `friendly chat’ to sort things out. Anything you say can be used against you (and probably will!), so think before you talk.
As already pointed out, guilt can now be inferred from the failure (at the time) to (some have said a little to long for the average policeman to remember!).
New police caution
“You do not have to say anything. But it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you say may be given in evidence.”
It still means that you do not have to say anything. They still can’t legally torture you to make a statement so, if you don’t want to, don’t.
“I have been advised that I should answer no questions. It is not right that I should have to give a complete case for my self until charges have been made and properly explained and until there are other people around to check that questions put to me are fair and legal. I will say nothing until I am advised to do so by a fully qualified legal advisor”.
When the police get it wrong
If you want to challenge anything the police have done, then get the names and addresses of any witnesses, make a written record as soon as possible after the event which is dated and signed. These can be used as evidence in court. If you are injured, or property is damaged then take photographs or video recordings as soon as possible and have physical injuries medically examined.
If you have been treated unfairly, then complain to a civil liberties group such as Release, Liberty etc, and the Police Complaints Authority. Contact a solicitor about legal action.
On the street – If you are stopped by the police
If they are not in uniform, then ask to see their warrant card.
Ask why you have been stopped and at the end ask for a record of the search (this is a standard form and supposed to detail their reasons),
You can be stopped and searched if the police have a reasonable suspicion that you are in possession of:
– controlled drugs
– offensive weapon or firearms
– carrying a sharp article
– carrying stolen goods
– if you are in a coach or train going to or
– you have arrived at certain sports grounds.
(there are other situations where you can be stopped and searched i.e.: Criminal Justice Act etc. etc…..)
At the roadblock
All the above applies but there’s a few other things worth considering here. You will probably be told to turn back,the reason given ranging from the bogus `you might fall into the canal’ through to `there’s nothing going on’ . Ignore these and other mirages of danger created by the police. Politely insist that you have somewhere to go and wish to continue. If all else fails you can always park and walk…
Co-operate but do not consent to a search, You run risks both of physical injury and serious criminal charges if youphysically resist. If the search is unlawful, take action afterwards by using the law.
In a police station
you always have the right:-
to be treated humanely and with respect.
to see the written codes governing your rights and how you are treated.
to speak to the custody officer (the officer who must look after your welfare).
to know why you have been arrested.
you also have the right (but they can in rare situations, be delayed)
to have someone notified of your arrest (not to make the phone call yourself).
to consult with a solicitor privately.
Remember – do not panic.
the police can only keep you for a certain period normally a maximum of 24 hours (or 36 hours for a serious arrestable offence). Make sure the correct time for your arrest is on the custody sheet.
make sure you know why you have been arrested. The nature of the charge determines your entitlement to rights in the police station.
insist on seeing a solicitor (you might have to wait, but it’s always free). Ask them to be present when you are interviewed. Do not be put of seeing a solicitor by the police, it’s your right, it’s free, so why not. NEVER sign the custody sheet saying you don’t want to see one.
if you ask for anything and it is refused, make sure this is written down on the custody record.
Release for information and help in dealing with the police, courts or drug problems advice line: 0171 729 9904 mon-fri 10am-6pm emergency line: 0171 609 8654 all other times
Included in this new law (mentionned in a small table on page 172) is a measure bound to create trouble. The maximum penalty for simple possession of class B drugs, which include cannabis and amphetamines, is increased from £500 to £2500. Hardly anyone gets the maximum fine, but this means proportionally, people will be fined more for their hobbies!! This Michael Howard says `is to keep up with inflation’.There is supposed to be a legal principle that fines should not be pitched so large that they cannot be afforded and on default, result in imprisonment, (i.e.: a backdoor method of sending people to prison).This is against almost all expert evidence and is certainly against developed police policy of cautioning most offences of small amounts of personal possession. mind how you go.
CJA – A party persons perspective – Do not despair
As of the 3rd November 1994, the noxious Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill became an Act, i.e. law, and many arrests have already been made. The majority of these have been for aggravated trespass in connection with hunt saboteuring. As of December there appears to have been no arrests (or 5000 pound fines) for squatting, nor for party (or as the Act defines it `rave’) organisations or sound systems confiscated. This article will mostly concern the latter. Party and festival organisers and attenders must remain optimistic; it is the very intention of this legislation to engender an atmosphere of fear, that is the true deterrent power of the law. It may be a long time before this Act is rigidly enforced , the police ( whom in several cases opposed the Act) will remain unsure both of the details of new powers and their ability to enforce them.
For instance, although the police now have the power to legally roadblock parties (thus admitting that this was previously illegal) , the practicalities of arresting what could amount to hundreds of people on a weekly basis are not realistic. It would require a huge police operation for each party, soon bankrupting most forces. The real way that the Act could work against us is through collective fear and ignorance. If all present cross police roadblocks en masse, it will be impossible for them to enforce. All party-goers, therefore, and for that matter everyone affected by the Act should understand it and carry on raising a collective two fingers.
The Act operates as a scare tactic, and the police themselves are split in their appraisal of the CJA. In two recent issues of Police Review, two particular articles have demonstrated this division. In the Nov. 94 magazine, David Wilmot (Chief Constable of Greater Manchester and successor to the greatest Moses imitator of recent times) basically argues that the police are `the most visible representatives of the State’ and are being pushed unwillingly into civil (i.e. non-criminal) areas. He admits that `the pressure on us is to deliver what is, in essence, civil-law enforcement’. So, one copper thinks that the Act goes too far.
However, one week later (Nov 25 issue Police Review) Detective Chief Inspector Ray Newman argues that the Act goes nowhere near far enough. This is where party organisers/sound systems/party-goers can take some cheer. He proceeds to outline what he sees as the flaws (i.e. positive points for us) of the Act in relation to `raves’. These are the exact arguments that can be employed at the party site, or if the worst comes to the worst, the police station. Mr. Newton’s ideological stall is set out with no messing : “legislation was clearly needed to deal with people attending unlawful raves, and to empower officers to enter sites without warrants and disperse those present – organisers or ravers – and to seize all equipment’!!! To whom was this clear? Is it clear to all that party-goers need dispersing?
He goes on to say that the Act `may not be as extensive as the police had hoped, or as ravers had feared ‘! His first moan, and our first ray of sunlight, is that the Act only applies to `raves’ in the open air. He concludes that `factories, warehouses and aircraft hangars would appear to fall outside the legislation’- so plenty of parties available there, in the police’s own words. Next he examines the `serious distress` section and concludes `some distress is not enough, it must be serious ‘ . So if a party is more than a couple of miles away from the nearest village/town/city, it would be very hard, according to D.C.I. Newman, to prove serious distress. Also it apparently replaces the police power to use public nuisance in `minor level distress ‘ to the community.
The next admission that Newman makes is that `careless handling ‘ of systems belonging to innocent parties should be avoided as it may lead to the police being sued. He advises taking a photo and keeping the system on site until the owner can be traced . One way in which many systems have avoided confiscation is by someone playing the straight hire company/having receipts for the equipment / a contract and having a good story, especially as the Act makes allowance for `forfeiture’ ( i.e. no get back !) unless the order may affect the owner’s livelihood. Mr. Newman”s next problem with the Act (our next loophole) is that Motorway exits and roads cannot be closed/blocked more than 5 miles away from the party site. This would presumably make last summer’s blocking of the M5 by the police unlawful.
The next area of interest to us is the section which states (s 63) that the Act applies whether those present are `trespassers or not’. The meaning of this is unclear, as these three words fundamentally alter the law, until now the police have been very reluctant to move in on private land, where the party is happening with the landowner’s consent. Although this is apparently changed, it is unlikely that the police will start to get heavy handed and seize systems from private land, and so a party on permissioned land will probably be left alone. Generally DCI Newman has a moan because he feels the new powers are insufficient to deal with `unsafe, unlawful raves’. Although a marquee in a field is probably the safest form of mass entertainment available (compare it to a club or a football match), we must take heart from police uncertainty .
Remember most plod don’t understand the Act any better than we do, and will often gain their knowledge from articles such as this. Know your rights and remember that actually talking to the cops , rather than shouting at them (even if this takes superhuman effort against frequent police aggression), the party may go on and the system may make it home.
Whatever the law, senior police will not create public order problems where they can avoid it. The real result of the new legislation will not be to kill off the free party but the big free festival. It is this, in the wake of Castlemoreton, that the powers are designed to deal with, and it is realistically very difficult to envisage any more huge festivals next summer. However these things are cyclical, and will at some point return. Although we all know that the police often act outside their power, whatever the law, and negotiation is often not on their agenda, it is the climate that the Act creates, rather than the letter of a largely unworkable law.
So cheer up, act up and party on ALL SYSTEMS GO!!!
Handy hints to keep your rig
Keep pathways/roads clear enough to allow emergency vehicles passage
Talk to the old bill, have people used to talking to the police ready, try not to slag em off
Pick up your shit when leaving site
Keep parties as far away from habitation as possible (see above) If your system does get seized, stay cool, have a straight back-up on standby to prove the system is theirs, have a known, good solicitor ready
Don’t do something just because the police tell you to: know the Act and other applicable law
Persuade as many people as possible to stay with the system and leave together
The Problem with Travellin’
In Germany, in the 1930’s, they started with the travellers. And no one protested. And THAT was a crime.In parts of the south west of England, travellers are forced to carry photographic ID cards to claim state benefits. This is targeting a specific minority for discriminatory treatment and resembles the Pass Laws of the old Apartheid regime in South Africa and the yellow stars and the pink triangles that the Jews and Homosexuals were forced to wear in Hitler’s Germany. They were shameful crimes then, and no less shameful in our own country now.
The British police have bought a number of `stingers’. These are extending metal girds with upright spikes that are used to puncture the tyres of vehicle being pursued by police or to prevent them entering a site. West Mercia Constabulary intend to use their stingers to exclude travellers from their area. (After the `embarrassment’ of Castlemorton). This is another form of Apartheid – Group Areas Act, cultural cleansing whatever label you like! It is crime against humanity in South Africa and Bosnia and is no less a crime in our own country now.
Along the Welsh-English border, travellers who sign on in new locations are reported to the police by the Department of Employment. The police then inform the Local Authority, who then get eviction orders on the travellers. The police move the travellers on, and the dole doesn’t have to pay them. This is illegal collusion between State organs to deny people their legal rights, and to culturally and economically cleanse the Travellers from their area of control and responsibility. This is shameful behaviour in any age of history, and no less a shame in our own country now.
Every day we hear stories of Travellers being persecuted in the most violent and inhumane manner imaginable, often by people who seem to delight in their cruelty. We hear of Travellers being fire-bombed, of being snatched by social workers, of animals being destroyed. Every day people are being forced off the land Forced to move on. With nowhere to go. It was a crime against humanity when it happened to the native American Indians or the aboriginals of Australia. It is no less of a crime when it happens in our own country now.
In Germany, in the 1930’s, they started with the travellers. No one protested. And all were guilty.
yes, but what can I do….??
So you’re up to date on the Criminal Justice Act, the expected behaviour of the old bill and what you can and can’t get away with. Participate in the Public Order Monitoring project outlined overleaf to help keep tabs on what the police get up to. As much as anything, keep at whatever you were doing and stay positive about the implications of this Act. Just because it may look bleak doesn’t mean it will be when you actually come to a situation – stay sharp and stay aware.
Carry this information with you, show it to your friends and others who may find it useful. If you want to support the spread of knowledge and information about the Act one idea may be to reprint his document and distribute it in your area.
A fund-raising party/gig/stall can get you enough cash to get a few copies printed so why not?
Public order monitoring project
Liberty have recently launched a new Public Order Monitoring Project, through which they aim to:
Monitor the use of the new Public Order measures in Part V of the Criminal Justice Act 1994.
Publicise widely any unjust and discriminatory use of the new powers.
Help defendants with the best lawyers available, and to encourage lawyers themselves to share their experiences and information wherever this is relevant. If you know any lawyers who might be interested in being on our list, please let us know.
Challenge the possible breaches of internationally agreed human rights standards with appropriate test cases.
Join the project!
If you are prevented from organising or attending a rave or other event, if you are threatened with having your equipment destroyed, or if you are in any other way affected by the new police powers, please write and tell us as soon as it happens – within 3 days if possible.
In the first instance, please contact: Michele Poole, Advance party, PO Box 3290, London NW2 3UJ. Telephone: 0181-450-6929.
See the standard monitoring form on the next page – please photocopy and enlarge and use as many as you need.
Although our main interest is in the new powers in the Criminal Justice Act 1994, we would also be very interested to hear about:
any arrests made under other public order laws, such as Breach of the peace or Public Order Act 1986 incidents where people are stopped and searched without clear reason.
We may be able to provide legal observers on a (very!) occasional basis. We have a limited number of lawyers who are willing to do this. Although our pool of legal observers is steadily expanding, we still need more; if you know any friendly lawyers who might be willing to help with this – including trainee lawyers – please ask them to call 0171 357 8689
LIBERTY 21 Tabard Street London SE1 4LA Tel: 0171 403 3888 fax: 0171 407 5354
PUBLIC ORDER MONITORING PROJECT REPORT FORM
Nature and location of event (festival, rave, site, etc):………………………………………
Exact Date, Time and Place of incident:………………………………………………………….
Please give an account of what you were doing, and what happened to you, in as much detail as you can remember. Continue on a separate sheet if necessary.
Name and phone numbers of any witness……………………………………………………..
Numbers of any police officers involved………………………………………………………….
Reasons for arrest and/or charge………………………………………………………………….
Name, address and phone number of your lawyer (if relevant)…………………………..
Please return to: Public Order Monitoring Project, Liberty, 21 Tabard St, London SE1 4LA
DNA Database under way
On Monday April 10th, legislation was finally passed to, amongst other things give the police the right to confiscate travellers vehicles, sound systems’ equipment as well as the final withdrawal of the right to silence, making it a black Monday if ever there was one. Another part of the CJA which was passed, and one which may not seem like much to many is the redefining as `non-intimate’ the taking of mouth swabs and saliva samples. At first sight this would seem to be a fairly minor change of the rules, but behind it lurks a far more sinister objective. The aim of this definition of `non-intimate’ is to enable any police officer to do this without the consent of the individual concerned, and they fully intend to. Does the term `DNA Fingerprint’ ring any bells? Well here in the UK the very first such project in the world began on April 10th. At a cost of £4 million to set up and estimated £5.4 million to run it for the first year, Britain now has the potential to amass a huge database of such DNA profiling. The plan is to put 135,000 profiles onto the database in the first year, mostly those of `violent offenders or convicted burglars’. The mouth swab or head hair taken as a sample is analysed and a unique DNA fingerprint established. The picture on the right shows the readout from which the information is gained. Referred to by Police Review as `life’s barcode’, this is reminiscent of the `mark’ written of in the Biblical Revelations. Whilst the police force will claim that the DNA profile is a `unique identification which can eliminate the innocent and incriminate the guilty’ there is little doubt that such a database will be consulted for more than such black and white judicial cases. They estimate to have 4 million entries on the database by the year 2000.