Scotland Yard is privatising the right to protest

If you want to protest in London you now need to hire a private security firm

TELECOMS? Privatised. Railways? Privatised. Energy? Privatised. Royal Mail? Privatised. The right to protest... privatised?

If you thought the rampant march towards privatisation could hardly go further, you thought wrong.

It has emerged that protest organisers in London have been told that they must fork out thousands of pounds if they want to stage a demonstration against climate change next month.

Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC) says it is effectively being made to "pay to protest" after being told it must hire a private security firm to oversee a march next month.

Following negotiations with the Metropolitan Police, the Greater London Authority and Westminster City Council, the organisers of the Time to Act march have been told that police will not be facilitating their march.

This role, which involves developing a traffic plan and managing the roads on the day, is normally carried out by the Met but from now on the burden will be on the organisers.

"In previous years, the MPS may have undertaken this role but following a review of what services we provide, we have stopped doing this," a Met spokeswoman confirmed, claiming it is a cost-cutting exercise.

Claire James, campaigns officer with CACC told CommonSpace that In the past the police have organised traffic management and organisers only had to notify them of their marching route.

"It is a principle that the right to protest on public roads should not be restricted to people who can afford to pay for it."

"Now they're saying that doesn't fall within core responsibilities," said James. "We're expected to hire a private company and provide accredited stewards to close the roads. It would cost several thousands of pounds that we can't afford."

It seems that the Met's new policy is set to affect all protesters as according to James. Organisers of another protest on the same day, Million Women rise, have been told exactly the same thing.

"It is a principle that the right to protest on public roads should not be restricted to people who can afford to pay for it," said James.

She added that when it comes to energy policy it seems like the UK's politicians "are on a different planet" and said the march is intended to highlight the urgency of climate change.

It is due to take place on 7 March.

Picture by Sebastian Llari

Comments

C Black (not verified)

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Brian Powell

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Martin Dicken

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Derek Louden

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Derek Louden

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Derek Louden

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

pictishbeastie

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

pictishbeastie

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

pictishbeastie

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Robin Barclay

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Robin Barclay

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Robin Barclay

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

markryle

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

markryle

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

markryle

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Karen Dietz

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Karen Dietz

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Karen Dietz

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Roisin Murphy

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Roisin Murphy

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Roisin Murphy

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

William Steele

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

William Steele

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

William Steele

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Steve West

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Steve West

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Steve West

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

DAVID SMART

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

DAVID SMART

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

DAVID SMART

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

steve andrews

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

steve andrews

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

steve andrews

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Bill Fraser

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Bill Fraser

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Bill Fraser

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Andrew Stuart's picture

Andrew Stuart

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Andrew Stuart's picture

Andrew Stuart

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Andrew Stuart's picture

Andrew Stuart

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Paul Smith

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Paul Smith

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Paul Smith

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Jon

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Jon

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Jon

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Andy Ellis

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Andy Ellis

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

Andy Ellis

Fri, 02/13/2015 - 02:47

Although not a protest, marches such as the one by the Orange order last fall cause the same disruption of traffic, the same requirement for security and protection from those in opposition. The list of similarities goes on and on. Is this some brutal step towards restricting our right to congregate? Will the rules be applied equally? It would seem that anyone in opposition to the status quo should think twice before exercising a basic freedom. Makes you wonder who the fascists really are. Or maybe not.

Malki80

Wed, 02/11/2015 - 18:42

You just can't do anything these days. I would just turn up and never mind arranging for private security and paying a fortune. Whole point of a demonstration is maximum disruption and publicity. See what happens thereafter - probs get arrested!

Malki80

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:04

They could register as a security company from among their own stewards and employ them for a pound.

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