For any going to ACTA protests on the 11th February:Recommended reading on ACTA:
General stuff on protesting:
- edri's list of the EC's myths: Definitely read this. It covers many of the problems with ACTA, and counters to much of the support for it. On the topic of disconnecting end users etc., while that isn't explicitly in the final text, it was given as one (or even the only) example of appropriate measures countries should impose.
- edri's factsheet on ACTA: A lot of detail on the issues with ACTA, read if you have more time.
- My blog post on ACTA: mainly aimed at letter-writing, but includes some background on ACTA (including who voted for it) and has some talking points at the end.
- La Quadrature's page on ACTA: lots of information here, browse at your leisure.
- My informal summary of ACTA: contains both some excepts from the treaty itself, and a list of criticisms.
- The full text of ACTA: if you're really bored.
Warning: some of this does not apply to Scotland - such as the PACE stuff (although the s60 search powers do). I don't know much about Scottish law in this area, but can try to research if needed. GBC legal do have some pointers to equivalent Scottish organisations that might be worth a look.
As a general rule, the police are not lawyers nor do they have any inherent legal power or authority. All their power comes from statute law (with a bit of case law thrown in) and often they're not aware of the details (but you should check if you can). Having said that, lawful or not, they can make nasty things happen to you. While standing up for your rights seems a very noble and appealing idea, sometimes it's better to comply, under protest, and challenge through the IPCC/courts later (personally, I wouldn't be happy trying to challenge the police on anything, unless I was really sure...). If you're involved with an incident, or see one nearby, try to get as much evidence as you can (including film). I am not aware of any law by which the police, on their own, can delete your pictures or film. Try to be polite and courteous in any dealings with the authorities.
For more details, GBC
have a very useful legal division, with key advice for protesting
. including a printable card of useful information
in the event you get arrested or searched and a set of legal briefings
including a very good summary of stop and search powers
and breach of the peace
. While I can't verify the accuracy of all of that, it does look pretty good. In theory, none of this should be needed, but it's better to be prepared.
Any questions on ACTA, protesting etc., give me a prod (via the forum, email, IRC, twitter) - I'll be around this afternoon, and some of tomorrow morning (twitter is probably best then) and may be online occasionally during the protest itself. However, I'm not a lawyer, and can't really put you in touch with one if you get into trouble.