Occupy London Stock Exchange and the European Convention on Human Rights

Occupy London Stock Exchange and the European Convention on Human Rights

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On the 15th and 16th day of October 2011, some protestors, led by Tammy Samende and having George Barda and Daniel Ashman, among others, pitched a protest camp in St Paul’s Churchyard. The protesters set up between 150 and 200 tents in the churchyard, with some tents serving as accommodation for the protestors. Other tents were allocated different activities including setting up temporary first aid centres, a learning centre, named Tent City University, and a children’s place. The tents occupied nearly the entire compound of the church, with the protestors extending their activities to the city’s highway.
The land occupied by these protestors was subdivided into three areas, area 1, area2 and area 3. Of these three areas, area 3 was the biggest since it included part of the city’s highway and an area surrounding the church. The area occupying the highway was referred to as area 1, while that occupying the cathedral’s compound was referred to as area 2. All these areas were not operating normally because the protestors had possessed them.
One of the constitutional issues in this case is that the protestors had the right to protest as stipulated in the European Convention on Human Rights. According to article 10 and 11 of the convention, all citizens had the right to protest and to have their grievances heard. This means that the protestors were exercising their rights by protesting against the activities in the London Stock Exchange, and hence the slogans accompanying their protest, ‘Occupy London Stock Exchange’.
By establishing a camp in the church compound, the protestors were exercising their right of expression and were therefore acting within the European Convention on Human Rights. In Article 10 of the convention, all ...

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... separate the city’s region and make it their own. In addition, they were not supposed to possess it as they had done. By building tents and establishing facilities including accommodation tents, the demonstrators took over responsibilities and mandates of the city.
From these provisions, it is evident that the demonstrators were breaching more laws than they were adhering to. Their actions were interfering with the freedom of many individuals, including the city, the worshipers and city dwellers. Although it can be argued that the demonstrators acted within their constitutional mandate, they extended their actions to affect other city dwellers.

Works Cited

City of London v Samede & Ors [2012] EWHC (QB) 34
European Convention on Human Rights 1952, s 1(9)
Highways Act 1980
Local Government Act 1972 2, S 1
Town and Country Planning Act 1990 s 9 (226)

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