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Why I bang on about protesters’ rights

By Steven | May 1, 2011

Because I don’t want our country to be a place where this happens.

Three street theatre performers, including a professor of anthropology, were preparing to protest against the monarchy with a mock guillotine in Soho Square on Friday. Last Thursday, Police sent three police cars and two police vans to arrest them outside the professor’s house and charged them with conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace.

(This seems to be an attempt to do an end-run around the House of Lords’ decision in Laporte, which required imminence before breach of the peace powers could be exercised.)

And two days before that Metropolitan police commander Christine Jones said republican placards seen in the vicinity of the royal wedding would be removed under the Public Order Act (POA):

Asked by journalist Martha Kearney whether police would use the POA to confiscate “down with the royal family” placards, Jones replied “There are 364 other days of the year when people can come to London and demonstrate and frankly it’s not appropriate on the day of the royal wedding for people to come to London with that intent.”

[Update: As Mr K points out in the comments section, more reports of unjustified arrests here and here.]

Topics: Protest speech | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Why I bang on about protesters’ rights”

  1. deanknight Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Sigh. I can also testify firsthand to the chilling effect from the MetPolice’s statements…

  2. Andrew Geddis Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 8:26 am

    God save the Queen,
    ‘Cause tourists are money!
    And our figurehead,
    Is not what she seems …

  3. Mr K Says:
    May 2nd, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Not to mention being arrested for dressing up as a zombie as you went to buy a coffee, or because you were singing a song in Soho Square.

  4. jrg Says:
    May 10th, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    you would have to be hard put to find a better day to make your view on republicism known.For a top cop to articulate on what day you can, or cannot, protest, demonstrates the arrogance with which she holds peoples rights.


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