Campaigners told to get insurance to hand out leaflets in Woking

The Manifesto Club is supporting members of the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, who have been prevented from handing out leaflets in Woking Town Centre. They were told that they must gain prior approval from the council, and submit the leaflets they wish to distribute. They were also told that they must get public liability insurance before distributing leaflets. Both of these requests are based on the council’s Public Realm Usage Policy. Both are also entirely unjustified, and have no legal basis. Members of the group wrote a letter to Woking News, outlining their position (see the letter here). We wrote a letter to…

Banned in London – Online map

You are in danger of unwittingly committing an offence if you stray into one of 435 special zones in London. The boundaries of these zones are often unmarked and within them many everyday activities are either banned or restricted. A new Manifesto Club online Google map, Banned in London, reveals the 435 special zones that now cover half the area of the UK capital. In these areas, people can be fined or prosecuted for activities that would not otherwise be an offence – including leafleting, protesting, dog walking, gathering in groups, and drinking in public.   Go to the Banned in London…

Kilburn bans leafleting in time for the Olympics

Kilburn is following other councils in banning leafleting in time for the Olympics. Under these powers, people must buy a council licence if they want to hand out leaflets in public spaces. In other places where these rules have been enacted, they have had a disastrous effect on local groups, particularly grassroots arts organisations, who cannot afford the licence fee. Leafleting bans also represent an erosion of fundamental freedoms in public spaces. They mean that we can engage with each other only when we have official permission, and a badge on our shoulder. Read on: http://www.kilburntimes.co.uk/news/brent_council_rubber_stamps_plans_to_licence_leafleting_in_the_borough_1_1358758 Manifesto Club Campaign Against Leafleting Bans:…

Political leafleteers asked for leafleting licences in London

This email came from a political leafleteer, who is increasingly being stopped and asked for a licence. Yet the boroughs concerned have not, so far as we know, enacted a leafleting licence system. The context is growing powers for London councils and PSCOs, to be granted by the London Local Authorities Act. A worrying case, which we will investigate… ‘I’ve leafleted for several years (from a stall) without ever contacting the authorities – under the auspices of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (CNEA) 2005 (*) – in Islington and Camden (and Westminster). I’ve not had any bother from the police, and…

Brighton and Hove council responds to Manifesto Club petition against leafleting bans

Here is Brighton and Hove council’s woeful response to our Petition Against the Brighton leafleting ban. The requirement that people pay the council before leafleting, apparently, is not a ban but ‘allows flyering in a controlled way’. At the same time – the crackdown on leafleteers is continuing, with at least 4 people given on the spot fines at the weekend for the crime of ‘unlicensed leafleting’. Message to Brighton and Hove council: this debate is to be continued… ‘Thank you for your petition, which was presented to Full Council on 15 December 2011 and which I formally note here. Issuing leaflets…

Islington council warns people not to attach notices to trees – in a notice attached to a tree

Islington council warns people not to attach notices to trees – in a notice attached to a tree. This was was clearly a mistake, the actions of a junior worker without a huge amount of common sense. Yet the incident represents a real trend – which is while community posters are being cracked down on, council posters in public space are growing apace. So while you may be threatened with an on-the-spot fine for putting up a lost cat poster, councils are hanging more and more notices off lampposts, on bins and electricity boxes – urging you to give up smoking, drink…

Political leafleteers stopped from leafleting in Oxford

Pleb’s College is a ‘free university’ in Oxford, and they were reportedly stopped from leafleting outside fresher’s fair. They were told that their event was ‘not political’ and they have to pay £400 to hand out leaflets… ‘It was outside Freshers Fair, we were handing out flyers for our free uni event, there was a debate with the council staff about whether they were political or not, we could have apparently handed out more political leaflets, they were political leaflets, just not party political. They said everyone can leaflet “so long as they’ve paid the £400 license”‘ http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=241219365938327&id=206076249452639

Leeds, don’t ban flyering on campus!

A student at Leeds University has just told us that there is a move afoot to ban leaflets on campus. The motion is discussed here. What is particularly worrying is the support for the ban from some students – who oppose flyering on the basis that they personally find it ‘annoying’ or a ‘waste of time’. As if we should ban everything that annoys us. Civil liberties don’t get a look in. We’d like to hold a meeting in Leeds to discuss this issue, as some student societies are outraged about this. If you are at Leeds and are against the ban,…

University of York campaigns against poster ban

Like many other universities, York has strict rules limiting students’ use of posters on campus. This rule is ostensibly to stop litter, but actually is about a generalised hostility of university management towards spontaneous activities on campus. Poster-bans inhibit student societies, since (especially on campuses) posters are one of the main way of getting your event out there. York students have a petition against the ban; we should support them. Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/university-of-york-repeal-the-ban-on-campus-postering See the Manifesto Club campaign against leafleting bans: http://www.manifestoclub.com/leafletingban

Crackdown on Brick lane touts

Brick Lane is defined by its touts, who stand outside every restaurant enticing passersby to try ‘the best curry in London’. Yet now this extravagant self-promotion is to be banned. I’ve just received an email from a Manifesto Club supporter, reporting that ‘Tower Hamlets council’s latest initiative is to ban restaurant owners from using touts outside their establishments to entice customers in. An anti-tout pledge will now be added to their licensing conditions. Are touts, with their old world manners and quaint turn of phrases, really a threat to anyone seeking a good curry?’ I don’t imagine anyone has complained about the…