Restoring the right to protest with your keyboard
December 6, 2007 1:58 AM Subscribe
The Government are clear that there should be no unnecessary restrictions on people's right to protest and it is right to review provisions which have generated such concern.
posted by Happy Dave (9 comments total)
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Two years ago, the British government effectively removed the right to spontaneous peaceful protest
around the UK Parliament.
Now, that legislation is under review, with a public consultation open until mid-January.
Originally designed to supplement existing sessional orders
which protected the abilitity of Members of Parliament to attend debates and votes, the legislation was a self-described "sledgehammer to crack a nut. But, he is a nut"
as stated by the Rt Honourable David Blunkett
, talking about the peace protester Brian Haw
. In accomplishing that anti-democratic objective, it failed
The harm has been done elsewhere, with a peace protester arrested, charged and convicted
for reading the names of British Iraq war dead aloud outside Downing Street, the arrest of a man for holding a placard with an Orwell quote
and the subsequent confiscation from him of photocopied Vanity Fair articles
about the government's erosion of civil liberties.
With representations of Brian Haw's protest winning the Turner Prize
, participation in a public forum will help the UK government remember the importance of dissent.