UK Liberty

Protest not aloud

Posted in law and order by ukliberty on April 8, 2007

The Sunday Times:

More tourists emerged and had their pictures taken, but none could believe that he was about to be arrested. One came over and chatted to me to learn what was going on. I explained that in a few minutes’ time Charlie was going to be taken to Charing Cross police station for holding his sign. The man was incredulous. “They can’t arrest you for just standing there, can they? What about our rights?”

He was about to see exactly what had happened to our rights. A police van pulled up, the two uniformed officers emerged, and Charlie Chaplin was read his rights and manhandled into the back of the van.

As he was carted off in a police wagon the funny side of Section 132 of SOCPA seemed to go with him. The crowds seemed unsettled, too. Their laughter gave way to bewilderment and shock. If only the architects of SOCPA and all the MPs who voted for it in parliament had been on hand to explain to us all why there was nothing sinister about a man dressed as Charlie Chaplin being arrested outside Downing Street for carrying a sign that said “NOT ALOUD”.

Read the whole article.

The police seem to come out of this with sense of humour intact. In a way I feel sorry for them because I’m sure there are things they would rather be doing than enforcing laws like this.

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