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Published:January 19th, 2008 17:38 EST
London's Day of Protests: January 12th 2008

London's Day of Protests: January 12th 2008

By Medyan Dairieh

A sunny tourist-filled Trafalgar Square in London witnessed the start of a day of protests. Approximately 150 demonstrators arrived to begin a day of action against what they see as the British government`s intention to place further restrictions on public protests; the government`s consultation on "Managing Protest around Parliament`.

Protesters followed a route to include all government buildings within the most heavily restricted public area in England, the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (S.O.C.P.A.) zone. The S.O.C.P.A. (2005) included a controversial provision which instituted an exclusion zone where the right to demonstrate is restricted up to one kilometre from any point in Parliament Square.

At Parliament Square demonstrators sat in the road; this closed three of the four junctions for traffic and began the first of four arrests, heavy-handed police response and reinforcements.