"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Police unlawfully, stopped, searched and returned Fairford protesters rule 5 Law Lords

5,000 plus protesters organised by the Gloucestershire Weapons Inspectors , demonstrated outside US Fairford (UK base of USAF 420th Air Base Squadron, whose 14 B-52 bombers bombed Iraq in nightly attacks for weeks - since upgraded for use by US Stealth (B2) Bombers) on March 22nd 2003. 120 people on coaches were prevented by the police from arriving at the site stopped and searched at Lechlade, and returned under Plod escort to London.

Using powers they claimed to have under Section 60 of the Public Order and Criminal Justice Act 1994 (Powers to stop and search in anticipation of violence. ) Plod and his fellow comedians, with patience, skill and care searched the coaches for weapons for nearly 2 hours, with the full and peaceful co-operation of the passengers.They removed deadly weapons such as a Frisbee and some toy soldiers.

On boarding the coaches (assuming they would travel on to Fairford) the protestors were directed to return to London and the drivers threatened with arrest if they didn't comply with the police and their escort of vans and cars.

Repeated requests to stop were denied during the 2 1/2 journey to London resulting in some anxious "toilet moments" with bottles and other receptacles. (more information @ Fairford Coach Action website)

The BBC report today that from 2002 to 2004, the Plod operation to police Fairford USAF base cost a total of £7.79m, including £89,000 on costs including prisoner maintenance. Most of this came from Home Office funds and £375,000 or 0.5% from the Gloucestershire Plod Budget - it was the largest operation the force had ever mounted

After many delays a Judicial review was held in January 2004, and the judgement which followed in February ....

1. Stated that the Plod acted unlawfully by detaining the passengers on the coaches
2. The police were right to turn the group away - a decision which was the subject of the Appeal to the House of Lords resolved yesterday.

The High Court and Court of Appeal has already ruled Plod acted unlawfully in holding protesters on the coaches. Yesterday 5 Law Lords (see Footnote) unanimously overturned a previous Appeal Court ruling and ruled police did violate the right to freedom of expression and lawful assembly of the coach passengers because the actions Plod took was not prescribed by law and were disproportionate. Plod and fellow comedians had previously argued that they acted to protect the protesters since the U.S. military reserved the right to use deadly force in the event of an intrusion onto the base.

The 5 Law Lords also dismissed a cross-appeal by the police against the "unlawful" decision to hold protesters on the coaches.

The boneheads of Gloucester Plod are reported by the BBC saying that they were disappointed" with the decision, which it accepted (having no choice) , and then added insult to injury by lying and claiming that officers acted in "good faith". They say however that It also they "regret" any inconvenience and said it would now review its policies.

"Policing in [such] scenarios is difficult and complex, with competing rights and responsibilities having to be assessed and acted upon in real time by operational commanders," said a spokesman.

"Intelligence pointed to the potential for further disorder at the base ( would that they would share this "intelligence" with us) and it was against this background that the decision was made to stop and turn back the three coaches travelling to RAF Fairford from London."

Evidently their intelligence was totally false (There's a surprise ! - always assuming such "intelligence " existed) as 5,000 other people protested without the need for a single arrest or the peace being broken.

Full Times Law report
Regina (Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire Constabulary
Before Lord Bingham of Cornhill (Senior Lord of Appeal in Ordinary), Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Carswell, Lord Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood and Lord Mance (also at Hansard HOL)

Basically for those fascinated by the law and the word jugglers. Mr Emmerson (for Miss Laporte and the protestors) satisfied the Judges that the leading authority Albert v Lavin ([1982] AC 546), introduced a test. That test was, that a constable and private citizen alike, could act to prevent a breach of the peace which reasonably appeared to be about to be committed - an event which was imminent, on the point of happening.

The test applies whether intervention by arrest or action short of arrest was considered. There was nothing in domestic authority (i.e in Statute Law) to support the proposition that action short of arrest might be taken when a breach of the peace was not so imminent as to justify arrest.

Officers plainly did not think a breach of the peace was so imminent; that was plainly correct. Therefore the officer was not governed by a test of reasonablness but by the Albert v Lavin test. By that standard his conduct, whatever the stated intention, was unlawful in domestic law.

So whilst The Human Rights Act 1998, which gives domestic effect the European Convention on Human Rights,.... (including )Article 5 ,deprivation of liberty Article 10, freedom of expression and Article 11 , peaceful assembly, is absolute, it still remains that protection of the citizen by the articles might be denied, if the demonstration was unauthorised or unlawful or if conduct was such as actually to disturb public order.

It is however a successful landmark in protecting the continual erosion of freedom and liberty which the forces of Laura Norder which are being whittled away. As ever ... Eternal Vigilance

Pic (c) BBC of B52 freshly returned to Fairford from dropping 80 X HE500lb Boeing manufactured JDAM precision guided bombs on Iraqi civilians and cities.
Fairford Coach Action Group for bus escorted by Plod

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish