Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The right to peaceful protest, unless we don't like it.

Was it an act of synchronicity that had the Queen laying out the government's pledges on removing the limits on peaceful protest at the same time that the Lord Mayor of London was pushing the courts to have a protest camp removed from Parliament Square?

Is it a coincidence that police turned up at the 9-year protester Brian Haw's tent and had him arrested for obstructing police security checks?

Should we be concerned over the statement from Sir Paul Stephenson, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, that

it was not for the police to decide "what should and should not be done on private property," but added: "The one thing we would look for in any government is to properly clarify around Parliament what it is they want and what they do not want."
Oddly enough I think what the government wants around Parliament are people slapping their backs and telling them what a good job they're doing and what they don't want are people negatively criticising them, but then again I think that's what they want to happen everywhere so why should the area around Parliament be considered so special?

Welcome to the new coalition government because peaceful protest is fine so long as it's held somewhere they can't see it.


Walkerno5 said...

These protesters were living on public property. They should be moved on the same way I should be if I decided to sell my house and go and live in a big tent in Brintons Park.

They are perfectly at liberty to come back and protest every day in the same spot - but not to stay there overnight for several days, weeks, or in Mr. Haw's case, years.

FlipC said...

The difference starts when the people making the laws set them up for their own benefit as with the SOCPA clause added in due to Haws and progresses to the GLA using its authority to push for the removal of 'trespassers' through the courts when a private company would be there for months trying to so the same.