Coaches with anti-war protestors travelling to RAF Fairford were searched and turned back to London in March 2003 Police surveillance Unlifting samba sounds at demo outside RAF Northwood in January 2003

Conference programme and other information

Sunday October 23rd 2005
11am- 5pm

at The Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7
5 mins from Holloway tube. Buses: 4, 17, 29, 43, 153, 253, 259, 271, 279 and X43
Venue fully accessible.  Fitted induction loop.

admission free

· to share experiences, and promote mutual aid & co-ordination among groups
threatened by repressive laws

· to develop effective strategies for standing up for our freedom to protest against injustice and oppression

Download the workshop briefing papers - very useful information!



The conference is in a No Smoking venue.

Dogs - No Dogs except Guide Dogs.

Campaign materials - Due to lack of space individual stalls are not available, but groups can bring 1 or 2 types of leaflets about forthcoming events & campaigns.  You will need to collect your remaining leaflets at the end of the event as we do not have any storage space.

Creche - If you are unable to make other childcare arrangements, there may be space available in a creche for a very small number of children (under-8s).  However we need to know in advance, so please email and give your phone number.

Media - This event has been organised as an opportunity for campaigners to develop effective strategies for standing up for freedom to protest against injustice and oppression.  It is not designed as an event for the press.  To avoid disruption of the event the organisers' policy is that there will be no photos, recording or press activity inside the event.  Any interviews/press activity should take place outside the venue, and can only be as individuals or campaigns speaking for themselves, not on behalf of others.

Conference Programme


Information and videos.   All participants will receive a folder with further details about
the workshop themes. There will be a general information table with relevant material.  A
short compilation video of protests will be shown. 

Introduction - Standing up for our rights and freedoms:   Thealarming growth of repressive measures being used against protests needs to be challenged. The purpose of the conference is to share experiences, ideas & tactics in order to enable everyone to continue to oppose injustice and oppression, and to encourage wider opposition and resistance to unjust laws.

Determination and inspiration!   A series of short presentations from a range of groups and campaigns who've successfully resisted repressive measures.

12.45pm    FIRST SESSION OF WORKSHOPS  [Choice of 4]

1. Q & A session on laws and legislation affecting protest:     What are the laws which are being used to suppress protest, in particular which laws have been recently brought in or further proposed? What kinds of activities and groups are they being used against, and to what effect? What are the long term implications?

2. Suing the police or proactively taking a case:    What options are there for campaigners wishing to take legal action against the police and others seeking to restrict protest and criticism? What are the prospects of success? How can it be done effectively?

3. Defending cases in court:     How can campaigners defend themselves effectively when charged with civil or criminal 'offences'. What are some of the legal procedures and tactics they need to understand and use to get the most out of the situation?

4. Importance of protest: empowering ourselves as individuals, groups and movements:      How can people overcome isolation and fear - and see through the negative media portrayal of protesting? How does opposition to injustice and oppression become popular? How can we all gain strength from the many struggles and movements around us - including some inspiring examples of movements successfully overcoming repression in UK history, and also around the world.

2.00pm    LUNCH BREAK   Vegetarian and vegan snacks and drinks available.

3.00pm    SECOND SESSION OF WORKSHOPS  [Choice of 4]

5. How to continue to protest effectively:     What practical tactics can protestors use to remain strong on the street and in other protests, in the face of official harassment and physical repression? How can campaigners stay in control of their own events, able to assemble and move freely, and to communicate effectively with the wider public?

6. Setting up support/defence/defiance campaigns:     Why is it important to organise support campaigns for people arrested, sued or jailed etc? How can people set them up and what kind of activities should they focus on? What can they achieve?

7. Resisting anti-terrorism measures that suppress protest and criminalise movements or communities:     What can be done to challenge the increasing use of anti-terrorist laws against protestors and the criminalisation of groups and communities which are questioning Government foreign policy? How can those targeted continue to express their views openly?

8. Dealing with the police face to face:      How can protestors deal with individual or groups of police in various situations - on the street, during arrests or raids, or in negotiations etc? What are the best ways of responding to friendliness, aggressive questioning, threats and violence?

4.15pm - 5.15pm:   CLOSING PLENARY

Brief reportbacks from workshops.

Final discussion: What Next? :    Continue the Freedom To Protest email list and website? A national day of action for "Freedom to Protest"?  Distribute Human Rights cards on protests? Regional FTP solidarity events? A follow up conference in 2006? Widespread use of the 'Freedom To Protest' logo on all groups' leaflets? Or just leave things to develop naturally?