5 Filters

Suspended sentence for peace activists

Category: rant

UK court reaches an interesting pas-de-deux.

Epoch Times story below:
Pro-Palestinian Activists Given Suspended Sentences for Protest Outside Starmer’s Home

It must cause distress to have people lining the street outside your house with children’s shoes and dobbing it with red handprints.
I mean, it must - mustn’t it?
Stands to reason; it’s “laughable” that it wouldn’t, the judge reasoned.

Maybe the distress is caused by the graphic reminders that children murdered in Gaza (in which zero interest has been shown by the main political parties) actually had hands, feet and bodies.
I mean, the idea that they didn’t is “laughable”; so the future PM, who for most of this time supported the defacto policy of disembodiment of children in Gaza, must simply have forgotten.
A true democrat (or person with any morality in his body, religious or otherwise) would have stepped outside and thanked the demonstrators for their feedback, and promised to revisit his policy in the light of the new information.
Instead they proclaim it ‘distressing’.
It would have been good to see the ‘distress’ probed further, and possible reasons for it.
Maybe it’s distressing to be forced into changing policy by human anger - whatever would one’s CIA handlers say?

Anyway the court gave the protestors suspended jail sentences.

I can see the court was in a difficult place. If the protest was regarded as legit, it could have been followed by many more; some of which might have been threatening.
However that is no reason to label an obviously peaceful protest as threatening; but it got the court off of a difficult hook.
Breach of the peace would have been a fair charge - but that might have led to a tricky debate about ‘peace’.

What if there isn’t any ‘peace’ surrounding, or emanating from, the alleged victim?
It’s not just a matter of the law having local scope - wear something that looks like it’s got a hang glider on it and you can be jailed.

When did it become legal to murder foreigners, and illegal to quietly protest about it?


20/6/24 Pro-Palestinian Activists Given Suspended Sentences for Protest Outside Starmer’s Home

An earlier hearing was told Sir Keir Starmer’s wife was ‘effectively forced out of her own home’ by a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

(L–R) Zosia Lewis, Leonorah Ward, and Daniel Formentin protesting outside the home of Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in London on April 9, 2024. (Youth Demand/PA)

By Chris Summers

Three protesters who staged a pro-Palestinian demonstration which “effectively forced” Sir Keir Starmer’s wife out of her own home have been given suspended prison sentences.

Leonorah Ward, 21, and Daniel Formentin, 24, both from Leeds, and Zosia Lewis, 23, from Newcastle, hung a banner outside the Labour leader’s home in north London which read, “Starmer stop the killing” on April 9 this year.

They also placed painted bloody hand prints on the pavement and placed four rows of children’s shoes in front of the house to represent the hundreds of young people who have been killed in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli invasion which followed the Hamas attacks on Oct. 7, 2023.

Ward, Formentin, and Lewis were found guilty of an offence under Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 after a one-day trial at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

District Judge Michael Snow sentenced them to six weeks of imprisonment but suspended it for 12 months, meaning if they commit no further offences in the next year they will not go to prison.

Giving evidence at the trial, Sir Keir’s wife Victoria said she felt “a bit sick” when she came across the protest as she drove home and decided to park her car around the corner.

Man Who Shared Pro-Hamas Posts Online Spared Jail for Terror Offence

Labour MP Reinstated After Suspension Over Middle East Speech

She said, “I felt apprehensive and uncomfortable.”

At an earlier hearing in April, prosecutor David Burns told the court Ms. Starmer “returned from a shopping trip with her son and couldn’t return to her property,” and was “intimidated and scared” by the protesters’ actions.

Mr. Burns said, “This really affected [Sir Keir’s] wife, she was effectively forced out of her own home.”

Ms. Starmer is Jewish and the Jewish Chronicle reported in April she has family in Israel.

Ms. Starmer Was ‘Compelling and Persuasive’ Witness

The judge said Ms. Starmer had been a “compelling and persuasive” witness, and he said he could “understand why politicians are so fearful” considering the “number of attacks on our democracy.”

Judge Snow pointed out two MPs had been murdered in recent years: Jo Cox in 2016 and Sir David Amess in 2021.

He said of the house: “The person who resides here is a senior politician … Anyone in that situation being aware that there were protesters directly outside their home is likely to cause distress.”

“It is laughable to assert to the contrary,” added.

(L–R) Zosia Lewis, Leonorah Ward, and Daniel Formentin leave Westminster Magistrates’ Court in central London on June 19, 2024. (Charlotte Coney/PA)

The protesters were from a group called Youth Demand, which says it is a “new youth resistance campaign fighting for an end to genocide.” On its website it says it takes “non-violent direct action.”

Defence lawyer Andrew Morris put it to Ms. Starmer that it was a “peaceful protest” but she responded, “It would look like a peaceful protest if it hadn’t been outside my home.”

Section 42 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 gives the police the power to prevent the “harassment of a person at their home address if an officer suspects it is causing alarm or distress to the occupant.”

‘We Didn’t Want to Scare Anyone’

Lewis said: “We weren’t planning on staying there the whole day. We didn’t want to scare anyone.”

Formentin, a marketing consultant, told the court he had targeted Sir Keir because he believed the Labour leader was “not accurately representing the country” over the conflict in Gaza.

He said, “There is an overwhelming sense that young people in this country do want a ceasefire in Palestine.”

But Formentin said they had no plans to confront Sir Keir or his wife and he denied the protest could be seen as being intimidating or threatening.

Ward told the court she “didn’t take the action lightly.”

Judge Snow, who said the activists had continued the protest despite being told by a police officer to leave, ordered them to pay £200 towards legal costs.

PA Media contributed to this report.


As we know, terribly important people are very very sensitive, and so very very busy doing terribly terribly important things that hindering them is an infringement of their human rights. The poor little lambs.

So: the law has been rewritten to take the side of anyone who possibly, even in theory, might be ‘upset’ by the actions of someone else (even a Christian praying silently at a kerbside). A badge of a paraglider clumsily sewn on your flag (probably a false flag at that, use of sarcasm, filming just about anything, and “… [any] activity [that] prevents or hinders day to day activities”.

But this is not intended to stifle the lawful right to protest, just so long as you do it in a way that no one notices.

I can’t see how a civil injunction would have been beyond the wit of Starmer, but then he’s always been keen on “sending a message” (but stopping short of actually talking to people). He’s a cowardly bastard.

None of the above condones the total dweebs who defaced Stonehenge the other day by the way, no matter how easily the orange might wash away. Just how did the monument builders of the Neolithic contribute to global warming? Bunch of effing Tarquins and Jemimahs.


Hi folks, here is the important part of the offending section :

"42 Police directions stopping the harassment etc of a person in his home

(1)Subject to the following provisions of this section, a constable who is at the scene may give a direction under this section to any person if—

(a)that person is present outside or in the vicinity of any premises that are used by any individual (“the resident”) as his dwelling;

(b)that constable believes, on reasonable grounds, that that person is present there for the purpose (by his presence or otherwise) of representing to the resident or another individual (whether or not one who uses the premises as his dwelling), or of persuading the resident or such another individual—

(i)that he should not do something that he is entitled or required to do; or

(ii)that he should do something that he is not under any obligation to do;


(c)that constable also believes, on reasonable grounds, that the presence of that person (either alone or together with that of any other persons who are also present)—

(i)amounts to, or is likely to result in, the harassment of the resident; or

(ii)is likely to cause alarm or distress to the resident."

I wonder whether there is any evidence that the police at the scene had enquired as to whether seeking to persuade someone (“X”) not to say or do a thing that amounts to complicity in genocide is something that X is not under any obligation to do or is entitled or required to do. How can the judgement ignore this fundamental element of the crime - X is acting unlawfully if he/she is acting in a way which is complicity in genocide and everyone (including the police and justices) is obliged to actually help anyone protest X’s activity!


PS for the record this is what Starmer said:
He also said “Israel has the right” to withhold power and water from Palestinian civilians. “Obviously, everything should be done within international law," he added.

1 Like

Jeez. I’ve only read the 'offending section ’ once and I need to go outside and meditate for a while. On that reading, it seems that you can interpret that any which way you like so shut up and don’t say or do anything?