Archive for May, 2012

VIGIL FOR “SAY NO TO NATO!” Sunday 20th May 2012

Occupy protesters join the night-time vigil


Sunday 20th May 2012. Start of NATO summit in Chicago USA



We need to re-energise the peace movement in a BIG way if we are ever to get OUR TROOPS HOME and prevent another war with IRAN.



Following on from the Stop the War “Say No To NATO” demonstration on Saturday 19th May at 1pm outside the American Embassy, Grosvenor Square………there will be a…



12 noon Sunday 20th May – 12 noon Monday 21st May 2012

Parliament Square, Westminster, London.

Peace Strike is calling a 24hr protest / vigil in support the people of Afghanistan. They need our help to put pressure on our governments to:


From 12 noon we will be demonstrating to highlight the start of the NATO summit that is meeting for a conference in Chicago USA.
The conference will be more to justify the ongoing war in Afghanistan, with discussions of Iran on the table.
The Afghanistan people are desperate for the war to end. They want NATO Forces to leave their country, to enable them to rebuild their lives and restore dignity to their people.

Join us for all or part of the vigil, which ever you are able to manage. In the late evening and during the night, a vigil will be held for all the countless thousands of civilians who have lost their lives in Afghanistan. Also, we will remember all the fallen and injured from our own British Forces. We need this futile, hopeless war to end. The people of our country must re-new the pressure on our weak coalition government NOW!


Monday morning we will welcome the MP’s back to Westminster with the sight of wounded and dying people. This is every day reality for the people and children of Afghanistan.

Bring banners, placards, candles, bandages or white sheets, and red felt tip pens.

SOCPA 2005 is no longer in force, however PRASRA 2011 (Police Reform and Social Responsibility) now applies.This new law prohibits all items associated with enabeling a person to ‘sleep’ within the area.


Due to the nature of 24hr protest, some people may find that they need to rest during the night. They may wish to lie down for an hour or so. If that is the case, you may like to bring a sleeping bag, a roll mat and a waterproof survival bag, warm clothing and food and drink to sustain yourself. Although the law uses the wording ‘prohibits’ it was stated in court that it may be down to the discretion of the officer present at the immediate time. It may be discretionary.

Sleeping equipment can, and may be confiscated. Be aware, and make sure that the sleeping bag etc is not expensive. You will be entitled to your property back, within 28 days.

If you resist the confiscation attempt, you maybe arrested.

Note: We take this demonstration very seriously. We want to bring  justice to the Afghanistan people, and we sincerely want our troops home. We therefore ask people NOT to bring tents. That is not the focal issue at present . The issue is to have the ability to demonstrate peacefully over a  given period of time.

We ask all who take part to be non-confrontational, polite and sincere.We are not there to argue, we are there to promote peace and speak out for those who depend on us to speak out on their behalf.

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What next?

So, with the removal of Peacestrike peace boxes from Parliament Square, the new restrictions on protest under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act have been enforced. These ban any kind of sleeping equipment that can sustain long-term protest, as well as any kind of amplification equipment that demonstrations use and need.

What next for Peacestrike?

Maria has been protesting 24/7 since 2006 in Parliament Square. It has been the base for so many Peacestrike activities including daily petitions to 10 Downing Street, speaking out about the causes and consequences and the horror of war, and supporting the protest of others.

The peace boxes more lately became a focal point in Parliament Square with their powerful statements, art work and all-round creative approach to use of the space. The protests in Parliament Square have for 10 years been a visible expression that war is wrong and have become a place where those who wish to express their concern and sorrow in relation to war can gravitate towards, a space of common concern within the anonymous city.

No sleeping in Parliament Square

With nothing but a single placard, sleeping bag and plastic sheeting, Maria spent last night on the pavement, determined to maintain her protest. At 3am the police arrived and gave her a warning to hand over the sleeping bag which she did. They informed her that she would be issued with a summons to appear at court. Maria argues that it is vital to be able to sleep in order to sustain a long-term protest. Without sleeping equipment, that becomes very difficult and the protest is undermined.

The legal case

Maria and the lawyers who have challenged the new restrictions on protest will go to the Court of Appeal and, if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights, to contest the case against the law.

Auctioning the peace box

Maria is keen to see the peace boxes auctioned to raise money for children in Iraq. One of the boxes in currently an exhibit in an art show in Los Angeles. See here

How can you help

If you would like to be kept in touch about the peace box auction, get in contact. Please consider donating to Peacestrike to get the auction going. See contact us for details

Posted by a supporter

The removal of Peacestrike from Parliament Sqare

Below are press articles, video and pictures of the removal by police of the remaining peace box, tent and other items.




Daily Mail

Evening Standard

A timeline of recent events

December 2011 – the new restrictions on protest come into force under the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act (PRASRA). Maria applies for an injunction to stop Westminster Council removing her peace boxes and other items. This is granted. see

January 2012 – at a high court hearing Maria is granted a judicial review of the legislation in March. see

March 2012 – Maria’s case against the enforcement of PRASRA is heard in the high court with Westminster Council as defendent and the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police as ‘interested parties’. The outcome of the case is of national significance: not only will the restrictions apply to a large area around the centre of decision-making at Parliament, but local authorities have been given powers to adopt similar legislation. see

April 2012 – one of the peace boxes is shipped to the US to be part of an art exhbition in Los Angeles. see

April 2012 – The judgement is given from the high court. It denies that there is any incompatibility with human rights and that Peacestrike has no right to stay in Parliament Square. see

3 May 2012 – after a further court hearing the injunction protecting Maria’s protest from the new law is lifted. Maria will apply to the Court of Appeal and, if necessary, to Strasburg to contest the new restrictions on protest. At around 6pm the police turn up and start to remove the Peacestrike protest.

See this article from Peace News about the new law and the recent legal proceedings.