Tuesday 17 April 2012

ASBOs Are Latest Weapon Against Olympics Dissent

An ‘interim ASBO’ (anti-social behaviour order) given to one of the three people arrested during a protest at Leyton Marsh on 10 April gives an indication of the kind of harsh restrictions likely to face anyone daring to protest against the Olympics this summer.

Simon Moore, who along with Daniel Ashman and Anita Olivacce pleaded guilty to breaching Section 14 of the Public Order Act, after refusing to comply with police instructions to leave. All three also refused to pay a £200 fine and were therefore sentenced to five days imprisonment. On leaving Belmarsh prison in Thamesmead on Saturday, Simon was handed details of the ASBO by a Detective Sergeant from the Metropolitan Police’s Public Order Operational Command Unit (CO11), which prohibits the following activities:

  • Entering or remaining within 100 yards of any existing or proposed Olympic competition or practice venue or route or participant’s residence within England or Wales.

  • Entering or remaining within 100 yards of any road being used on that day for the passage of the Olympic torch or on which any Olympic practice or competition is taking place, e.g. the Marathon, within England or Wales.

  • Trespassing on, or without the permission of the owner to interfere with, any building or land.

  • Taking part in any activity that disrupts the intended or anticipated official activities of the Olympic Games or Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

  • Obstructing the movement or passage of any Olympic participant between their residence, practice venue, or place of work, and venues being used for competition or cultural purposes.

According to the order, "participants" include competitors, accredited officials and spectators, at or in the vicinity of venues at which Olympic events are taking place or are anticipated or intended to take place. "Diamond Jubilee celebrations" relates only to the State Opening of Parliament 9th May, the Royal River Pageant and other Jubilee events from 2nd-5th June and the Trooping of the Colour on 16th June.

Essentially, large areas of central and east London have potentially become prohibited spaces for Simon from May until the end of September, although I imagine the order will be vigorously challenged. But it looks as though ASBOs with widely drawn prohibitions are likely to become one of the weapons - along with pre-emptive arrests - that are used against Olympics opponents engaged in peaceful protest.

1 Comment:

dublinstreams said...

be intereting to map the extent of the area

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