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The right to protest is precious – we must defend it

dtrtplogoThe right to protest is a precious and important one. It is fundamental to any democracy. Co-operation with the police has always been a sensitive area and indeed current legislation requires agreement with the police on march and demonstration routes. However, something very fundamental has changed this week.

The organisers of the Time to Act climate change march have been told that if they go ahead with their planned demonstration, they will have to pay the bill for temporary traffic reorganisation in the area.

The event was expected to attract 20,000 people, and has been told that it must pay for stewards and pay for the cost of traffic reorganisation. This makes the organising of any demonstration virtually impossible for any organisation.

The Metropolitan Police seem to be using the excuse of cuts in their budget to remove the possibility of anyone organising any legitimate demonstration in London.

They pretending that there is no question of demonstrators paying for direct policing — yet the effect is exactly the same, as obviously any march or demonstration does disrupt traffic and requires some rerouting ahead of the event.

Fortunately a lot of people are already complaining about this. Everyone who believes in free speech and in the right to protest should get together and say we are simply not accepting it.

This post also appeared in the Morning Star

Image credit: Defend the Right to Protest Campaign

5 Comments

  1. John reid says:

    Quite right, the right to protest is needed, take it Jeremy you now denoube the thugs in your group UAF intimidating Ukip from protests, o opening their shop, or stopping the EDL complaining when Muslims hold up placards saying ‘behead those who say Islam is a violent faith ,or police go to hell, or burning poppies infront of British troops returning home’
    Are wrong, and you regret backing UAF

    1. Rod says:

      Perhaps you’ll also take David Cameron to task also, John.

      Cameron is a founding signatory of UAF.

      1. John reid says:

        Yes I know, it’s disgraceful

  2. swatantra says:

    I think the word ‘Peaceful’ should be in there somewhere. Peaceful, as opposed to Violent Agitation.

  3. J.P. Craig-Weston says:

    This is one of my all time favorite quotes:

    “The Middle classes will protest against anything as long as it won’t cost them any money.”

    Why aren’t; Tony Blair or Jack Straw, who dragged this country into a bloody, expensive, (both in bodies and in treasure,) and wholly illegal, (not that anyone much cares about such old fashioned trivia these days,) war completely against the will of British people on the basis of nothing but a complete pack of lies, and without any political mandate, not now in the Hague awaiting trial?

    Over a million people protested against the illegal invasion of Iraq; haven’t you lot got the message yet?

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