13 December 2006: for immediate release
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament today welcomed a ruling by the House of Lords upholding the right of protestors to freedom of speech and assembly and freedom from arbitrary detention.
The Lords ruled in favour of 120 protestors who were travelling to RAF Fairford in 2003 to protest the Iraq war when they were stopped, searched, and forced by police to return to London under heavy police escort.
Sue Davis, CND National Council member and one of the protestors on the Fairford coaches, said, ‘Here is the highest court of the land unanimously saying the police acted unlawfully in stopping us protesting. We have a right to protest, and I am relieved that this right has been upheld. This ruling has eased my cynicism about our democracy and the erosion of our rights.’
Kate Hudson, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, said, ‘Over the past few years the government has been slowly eroding the people’s right to peaceful protest, most notably with provisions in the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act (SOCPA) which prohibit unauthorised protest around many key sites in Britain. Today’s ruling shows that the Lords still believe that the people in a democracy have a right to make their voices heard.’
Notes to Editor:
1. For further information and interviews please contact Rick Wayman, CND’s Press & Communications Officer, on 0207 7002350 or 07968 420859
2. The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) is one of Europe’s biggest single-issue peace campaigns, with over 32,000 members in the UK. CND campaigns for the abolition of all nuclear weapons everywhere.