Politicians should have the opportunity to hear the public
Review the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 after its use to convict Miss Evans. LibDems promised to review it. We should be allowed to protest near Westminster where our laws are made and we are governed.
Extract from Mail Online:
The use of controversial new security powers intended to protect Parliament to prosecute a peace campaigner has been condemned in the Commons today.
Maya Anne Evans, a 25-year-old cook, became the first person to be prosecuted under the law which bans unauthorised demonstrations within one kilometre of Westminster after reciting the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq outside the gates of Downing Street.
David Heath, for Liberal Democrats, demanded an urgent debate on the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 after its use to convict Miss Evans yesterday.
Commons Leader Geoff Hoon said the legislation was widely supported by MPs and had worked “remarkably well” since coming into effect last summer.
He added that challenges to such laws were a key part of the democratic tradition but often resulted in criminal penalties.
Miss Evans, 25, received a criminal conviction for defying the new law.
She was found guilty of breaching Section 132 of the Act, given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 towards costs.
The vegan cook from Hastings, Sussex, was arrested on October 25 as she stood next to the Cenotaph, outside Downing Street, reading out the names of 97 British soldiers killed in Iraq.