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Peaceful protest, no placards allowed

A protest in support of Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who broke into dozens of US computers
Thomas Ash
10 December 2009

Readers may be familiar with the case of Gary McKinnon, the British hacker who broke into dozens of computers in NASA and the US military in search of evidence of UFOs (which he claims to have found). US authorities are now seeking McKinnon's extradition from the UK; if they are successful, he could face up to seventy years in jail, although a lower figure is now being suggested. McKinnon's case has aroused considerable sympathy in Britain, not least because he has been diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, a condition that is the likely explanation of his actions.

McKinnon's mother has sent a call for a peaceful protest in support of Gary on the 15th of December, reproduced below. Apparently protestors will not be allowed to carry placards to Buckingham Palace; one suggestion is that they bring blank placards, as the police can find little to object to in these, unless it is the way they expose the gagging of protest.

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The Police also said we can't walk up to Buckingham Palace and leave flowers and can't even ask someone to hand flowers into the Queen.

We're going to walk up to the Palace in twos so that it can't be deemed a protest. We will attach flowers to the railings or leave on the ground if allowed, or alternatively, ask the police or whoever, to hand the flowers and postcards to the Queen. The postcards will have a message to the Queen asking her to help to stop the proposed Extradition of Gary. That is a plea and not a protes

If any of you can let us know if there's any law that can stop us doing this, please tell us. I still think the police would look really bad if they arrested us for leaving flowers and postcard.

We also want anyone that can't attend the protest outside the Home Office at 12noon on the 15th December to send Flowers and a postcard to the Queen asking her to help stop the proposed extradition. Preferably red and/or white flowers as we're hoping to create a sea of red & white both inside and outside the palace.

If people could wear something red or white, whether it's scarves, gloves, T Shirts or whatever, will add to the sea of colour.

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