So the most blog hits I’ve ever got (and probably ever will get) are in relation to zombies.
The potted history is below, but for the latest on my arrest, others’ arrests and the subsequent court case, please check out the Pageantry and Precrime website.
The potted history:
My friend Chris Farnell (who runs a zombie blog) asked me to go report on a Zombie Flashmob he’d heard would happen in Soho Square on the day of the Royal Wedding.
29/04/2011 On the day of the Royal Wedding I went along to Soho Square – dressed like a tit – and got arrested from a Starbucks for being dressed like a zombie. No really, that’s all any of us had done. We were perceived to be anti-royal protestors so we were arrested. Yes that’s illegal. Yes, the Met knew that and did it anyway.
It turned out there had been loads of pre-emptive arrests all over London that day.
Through social media growth alone, my blog post on the topic got Reddited, received over 10,000 hits in under a week, and I started getting phone calls from journalists.
The wonderful Green and Black Cross got those of us who’d been arrested on the day together and we got representation from the lovely Bhatt Murphy civil liberties solicitors who took our case on a no-win no-fee basis. We put in an application for a Judicial Review. A Judicial Review is bigger and wider-reaching than just suing – it’s a legal investigation into who made what decisions leading to dozens of innocent people being arrested on spurious/fictional grounds.
The hearing took place over five days at the High Court in the summer of 2012- rolled up with various other arrestees from the royal wedding weekend.
We finally got the news that we lost the Judicial Review on all counts. I could not be more gutted. I anticipated we might get a not-satisfactory middle-ground ruling but this was genuinely shocking and bad for civil liberties everywhere. Not least as this result came out in the run-up to the Olympics.
We were granted permission to appeal the decision and we have had a hearing for it, though on extremely narrowed grounds. At the time of updating this (17/09/2013) we have not yet had a result.
In the meantime the lovely Zombie Rights Campaign awarded me the title of Zombie of the Year 2011. This is the third time I’ve ever won an award and the first one was an ‘attendance award’ in year 6. Chuffed to bits, thanks guys.
If you want more zombie joys I can heartily recommend:
The Zombie Rights Campaign will keep you up to date on the latest on civil liberties for the ‘differently animated’.
Zombie LARP UK is a Live Action Role Play game with zombies, Nerf guns, guts, gore and it’s genuinely terrifying. Run by my old housemates and definitely should be in everyone’s Top Ten Things To Do Before the Zombie Apocalypse.
Passenger Films (run by a fellow arrested zombie) do arty film nights with dress-up, intellectual discussion and screenings. It’s not always zombie related, but keep an eye out.
Fright Fest do a lot of horror-themed stuff including a big film festival in the summer. If you want to shamble around in the best fake blood about then the Frightfest guys know their stuff and do zombie shuffles around Hallowe’en.
If you want more civil liberties I recommend:
Netpol – the network for police monitoring.
Green & Black Cross (GBC) – an independent grassroots project set up to support autonomous social struggles within the UK.