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back to article Police fail to dampen down bonfire night Westminster protest

Officers responsible for Parliamentary security stayed calm this week, despite the unexpected arrival - on the 404th anniversary of an infamous plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament - of several dozen masked men and women dressed as Guy Fawkes. Meanwhile, a distinct lack of instant response from the Met to what most passers- …

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Grenade

Statutory instruments again?

The number of new crimes and new statutory instruments attached to those crimes - to allow the creation of more and broader categories of crime - under this government is absolutely astonishing. Risking Godwin, even Hitler only had one enabling act. Blair, Brown and co seem to be going for a full century.

<-- anyone fancy another go?

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Great

Its about time we reminded these overpaid scroungers (MPs that is) that they work for us not the other way round.

I'd like to see a mass march on London by a large majority of the population next.

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People power

I wonder how much the fact there were several leading bloggers had to do with the mets response?

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Political police beaten? Never!

But why so few Guys?

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Alert

Not so good intentions...

Actually, In the movie the red rose (Scarlet Carson) was a symbol that V intended to kill said recipient of the flower!

So maybe they were signalling the death (or fall) of the government and/or the police!

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Flame

Brilliant.

This really made me chuckle.

Good news I think.

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Well done "guys"

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

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Black Helicopters

"A word to the obviously not so wise ..... a "heads up" in military parlance"

I wonder what discretionary powers the Met will exercise should tanks litter Westminster ..... http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/hague-warns-against-rewriting-expenses-reforms-1817155.html :-)

"The Power is in Educating the People and not in Herding them like Sheep" said ...... oh there's bound to have been someone who said that, as there always invariably is.

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The rose...

...so was it a Violet Carson?

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Anonymous Coward

More true than ever

Guy being the only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions, and still he fucked it up.

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Megaphone

The boys are on thier best behavior

Must be an election soon

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IT Angle

Facial Recognition?

Of course there's an IT angle:

Is facial recognition technology used to identify people strolling round parliament?

If so, why did it fail to recognise a know suspect? (Mr. Fawkes)

Or is this good news: your biometrics will be removed from the database once your dead...

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Big Brother

Domestic extremists

I'm sure they are all on a database somewhere.

They all look similar though don't they? Would make the spot sheets simple though, eh?

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You all slate gov.uk

But more of you voted for them last time than any other party, and things haven't changed all that much since, then apart from a recession of course.

This kind of points to people caring more about whats in thier wallets than what several leading bloggers in fancy dress are trying to make a point about.

Ho Hum.............

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Police have not given up

It would be good if the police had given up, but they have not.

Three people were arrested last week for standing at the Cenotaph. The police are just as keen on preventing politics as ever http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/11/441214.html

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*SirTainleyBarking

"Must be an election soon"

Bravo sir, bravo.

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Boffin

V masks

Where do you get these V masks from? Couple of us have been after them for ages (purely for use while overthrowing the government you understand, not for doing anything bad or wrong in )

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Meh...

On the protest: all seems a bit of a pointless exercise to me. Although it's good to see that peaceful protest does seem to get a peaceful response, despite the hysteria the tabloids (including the Reg) love to stir up about heavy-handed totalitarian policing.

On the article: IT angle blah blah bleh... (There's a simple enough way to stop the "IT angle" question being asked every two minutes, and that is to make it clear that what the Reg really is is a political commentary site with occasional tech articles thrown in.)

On Guy Fawkes as a symbol: I'm always left a bit perplexed by the current obsession of look-at-me trendy wannabe subversives with Guy Fawkes.

Guy Fawkes was attempting to kill a monarch and parliament in order to replace one state religion with another, very very slightly different, state religion. Now, if there's one thing I know about Reg commenters, it's that they do love to hate those primitive religious whack-jobs. After all, religion is responsible for all the suffering and evil in the world, right? Yet give them an article on how rubbish the government is (a sentiment I don't disagree with, incidentally), and they'll fall over each other in the rush to strap on the Fawkes masks.

Ah, no - but this is Guy Fawkes. GUY FAWKES! You know Guy Fawkes: he's suave, and intelligent, and well-read, and he makes excellent, quotable speeches with lots of Vs in them, and stands up for the downtrodden. We know all this, because we've seen it in a movie. And he keeps this really cool blog, too.

But the truth, surely, is that as revolutionaries go Guy Fawkes was crap. He achieved nothing except getting himself caught, tortured and killed. That's the only reason we Remember Remember him. If I was going to be a masked insurrectionist, I think I'd want to find someone slightly more competent as my new face.

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Black Helicopters

@pctechxp

re: I'd like to see a mass march on London by a large majority of the population next.

Watch out they'll be coming.

Seriously though, massed marches in London only give the plods time to organise. Simultaneous demonstrations in every major town would cripple them in a few days, you would only need a couple of hundred or so people in each town and you would soon end up with only 8 or 10 plods in each location. They rely on everyone going to a central location to be able to get the man power together.

Do the maths, how many plods in the country and how many towns/other locations.

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The revolution will be twitterised

Guy Fawkes 2.0 these fashiontards are not.

If they really are so desperate to conform that they'll do what they think Alan Moore is telling them without actually understanding it they'd be put to better use in an Austrian boutique hotel with a copy of Lost Girls.

Subjugating your individuality to the an overly literal interpretation of the writings of a big guy with a long beard - same old same old.

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Alien

@Mithvetr

The closest modern analogy to Fawkes & his mates is Al-Qaeda or the Timothy McVeighs of the world, i.e political extremists who use religion. About as far from an anarchist as you can get.

The Dealey Llama gets my vote - you know, the one who lives under Dealey Plaza in Dallas...

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Kudos to the COPs

I think it should be noted in very clear words, that even though some have a bit of of a hang to overreact or let their "I have the power" complexes loose, they have reacted brilliantly!

I personally have no problem with cops in general, but with those who think because their are in the position of power, make use, or shall I say abuse it.

To a certain extent I actually admire them, have to do what they do for camparably little money!

I honestly feel, feel, that most of the money that has been pushed up the backsides of the banks, should have gone to our police forces, in order to provied better salaraies, better training, and better facilities!

BTW: I am no COP, nor am I related or friends with one (at least that I know of).

Keep it up coppers.... As long as you treat me with repect, You shall receive mine!!!

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@Gordon Pyra

A large majority of people voted AGAINST the government.

Just for the record

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Only the monkey

@Mithvetr

And to continue your point, Fawkes was only the monkey who did the hard work and was lumbered with the highly risky job of setting and lighting the fuse. The organ grinders, the real organisers like Robert Catesby, were just a bunch of toffs who were safely away from the scene of the action.

Very popular to slag off the current bunch of t*ssers who rule us at the moment, but when Dave's bunch get in I bet they won't be any better. It will just be a different bunch of mates who benefit.

Two thoughts to bear in mind:

i) whoever you vote for, the government gets in

ii) Con is short for Tory

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Alien

@Glyn2

Forbidden Planet and other vendors of geekery.

Also some fancy dress shops.

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dek

@ZimboKraut

Let's see if you feel that way after getting stopped for imaginary reasons so they can collect your finger prints & sample your DNA to add to their database of "potential" crim's.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 09:58

Anonymous Coward wrote "Do the maths, how many plods in the country and how many towns/other locations."

Can you dig it - can you dig it - caaaan yooou diiiig it

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Pirate

@ Allan George Dyer

"Or is this good news: your biometrics will be removed from the database once your dead..."

There's actually no provision for that. It is not completely clear that there can be, the way the law is written. So when we at NO2ID say applying for an ID card will put you on the database "for life", we are, strictly speaking, understating the horror.

There *is* clear provision for the database to record your date of death, and as Wittgenstein pointed out, "death is not an event in life".

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Cop reaction

To be honest, I think there are two levels for looking at this. I did not go into the Commons, so cannot comment on allegations later made by aulde Holborne on his blog about unreasonable behaviour by the authorities inside.

However, outside, I saw nothing but good-humoured jovial cops...both those at the gate, and the supervisor (Inspector) who turned up to discuss the situation a little later.

Certainly nothing like the horror stories I have heard in respect of how demos are policed...although it may be that there are two different divisions involved. Not 100% sure.

The second level, however, is in respect of the application of the law overall and the provisions for police to determine whether protest can/should go down at all in the excluded area.

That, of course, is a much bigger political issue, and one where the police input has been rather less than wedded to democratic ideals. If you look at what the government is proposing by way of replacement to the SOCPA provisions, they almost precisely mirror proposals put forward by the Met during the consultation process.

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Anonymous Coward

Wonder what Alan Moore makes of all this?

Or is he past caring now?

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Lies, damned lies, and statistics

@Gordon Pyra, @Burkhard Kloss:

"But more of you voted for them last time than any other party"

"A large majority of people voted AGAINST the government."

Neither of these statements are entirely accurate.

Over the entire UK more people who voted did indeed vote for Labour but the figures show this to be a somewhat pitiful 'more of you' than your statement might lead us to believe.

Voter turnout for England at the 2005 GE was 61.29% (up slightly on 2001's 59.12% turnout)

35.19% of the people who voted, voted Labour

So 35.19% of 61.29% (= 21.57%) of the total electorate voted Labour.

The 'Large majority' of people who voted against Labour works out as:

100% - 35.19% = 64.81% of the total number of people who voted;

64.81% of 61.29% = 39.72% of the total eligible voting population voted against Labour.

In conclusion:

More people voted than didn't vote (61.29% of the total voting public voted -vs- 38.71% of the total voting public who didn't vote)

Of those who voted, more people didn't vote Labour than did (39.72% of the total voting public voted against Labour -vs- 21.57% of the total voting public who voted for Labour), but because this 'no' vote was split between many parties no individual party got more votes that Labour.

The 'large majority' cited by Burkhard is 1.01% greater than the number of people who didn't vote (39.72% -vs- 38.71%). Almost as many people couldn't be bothered than thought it was worth voting against Labour.

As for the against vote splity by party:

32.36% of 61.29% (19.83%) voted Conservative

22.05% of 61.29% (13.51%) voted LibDem

1.52% of 61.29% (00.93%) voted SNP

Everyone else got less than 1% of 61.29%.

No large majority there either.

(source http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/e01/results.htm,

http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge05/results.htm)

@Mithvetr

"On Guy Fawkes as a symbol: I'm always left a bit perplexed by the current obsession of look-at-me trendy wannabe subversives with Guy Fawkes."

It's more that they're trendy wannabe subversives who read "V for Vendetta" - whose hero dresses in the manner of Guy Fawkes possibly because Alan Moore's an anarchist, and a famous anarchist poster reads:

"Vote for Guy Fawkes. The only man to ever enter Parliament with honest intentions."

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@AC 8/11 23:08

"Guy being the only person to enter Parliament with honest intentions, and still he fucked it up."

Point taken though I feel the only person to truely do this was Oliver Cromwell.

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Push, don't shove

The reason I undertook this walk is to show people NOT to be scared of authority.

I had a perfect right to walk into the public gallery and used it. They didn't like it but they couldn't stop it.

Too many people have already capitulated to the State and simply decided they would "get into trouble", so didn't attend. My aim is to show that you DON'T get into trouble when you push back. Shove hard and you might.

If enough of us simply push, rather than a few shoving, things can change. Ask the East Germans

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@The Silver Fox

nobody voted AGAINST Labour - there is no way to do that.

they just didn;t vote FOR Labour.

AndyD 8-)#

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Megaphone

Push off

I haven't capitualted to the state I just decided that watching a dull debate with a dozen rejects from a comics convention wasn't worth the candle so I exercised my right to walk into my local park for a stroll. The fascist park keepers didn't like it "You know we shut at dusk, mate?" they said in menacingly pleasant fashion but when I said that I did indeed know and would be gone well before then they knew they were beaten.

If enough of us push off for a pleasant saunter The State might decide it has no choice but to give us new climbing frames that allow for an adventurous play experience - just ask the East Grinsteadians what happened at Brooklands.

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