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Protestors’ Story

120 protesters were going by coach to demonstrate against the Iraq war at the Royal Air Base in Gloucestershire. Police, who knew that the group was travelling to the protest, stopped the coaches about three miles from the Air Base. The police searched the coaches and seized some items, including helmets, scissors and a safety flame belonging to a couple of the protesters. The police decided there was no basis to arrest anyone, but turned the coaches back to stop the group from protesting. The protestors were forced to return to London with a police escort, and they weren’t allowed to stop. 

Courts found police had breached the protesters’ Article 11rights. There had been no imminent threat to breach of the peace, so the police's decision was not lawful or proportionate.

(R (Laporte) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire, House of Lords, 2006)

Key information


Rights this relates to: 
Article 11: Right to freedom of assembly and association

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