At least 4 arrests outside Parliament under SOCPA section 132
At least 4 arrests were made as police blocked access to Parliament following an Occupy London ‘March on Parliament’. Arrests were made under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) 2005, section 132. London, UK, 05/11/2011.
City police explained to me that protesters were being arrested under Section 152 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act of 2005. This was incorrect as this section is for the ‘Power to seize etc. vehicles driven without licence or insurance’.
Sections 132 to 138 of SOCPA restrict the right to demonstrate within a “designated area” of up to one kilometre from any point in Parliament Square. This act was meant to be repealed by the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 in September. Police were very clear when questioned that they were arresting people for protesting within a certain radius of Parliament – despite the fact they did not know the specifics of the laws they were implementing they were still making arrests.
As of now the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 is now on the Statute Book, but has not yet actually been Commenced by Order. More information can be found at http://parliamentprotest.org.uk.
Anonymous had organised an event called ‘Operation Stand Parliament’ which was meant to see people amass outside Parliament until 9am the following day.