A couple of hours later we arrived at the Barclays at 2 Victoria Street (very near the Houses of Parliament). This was Barclays' 6th demo in London in the last week. As with the AZ demo, all we were doing was holding placards and a banner and handing out leaflets. It was a very good place for a demonstration, with very busy streets and a lot of support from the public. A couple of people even talked about moving their accounts elsewhere. This demonstration was said by the coppers, and then by Inspector Watson, to be illegal under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) and we were ordered to stop the demonstration or get arrested. By this point we had actually demonstrated for about an hour and three quarters, so we packed-up and left. But what a disgusting country this is now! Handing out leaflets and holding banners without police permission and you're apparently involved in "serious organised crime." I hope these brainless police officers know that they are creating a terrible police state for their own sons and daughters where you have to get permission for everything you do.
In a civilised 'democratic' country you should not have to seek permission to demonstrate against anyone. There are already very many laws in place preventing and punishing disorder, but this is simply designed to quash freedom of protest. Why, also, should people in the kilometer around parliament get more "protection" than anywhere else in the country? It is a very worrying thought, but why would they start these draconian laws in central London if they didn't eventually wish to extend them to the whole country? Repeal SOCPA! Defy a police state!
Fight for the animals, and fight for your right to fight for them!