Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Freedom juxtaposition

One the day when The Queen announced the following bill during the opening of parliament:

Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill

Will limit the amount of time that DNA profiles of innocent people can be held on national database. Will tighten regulation on the use of CCTV cameras, remove limits on right to peaceful protest. The storage of DNA is a power devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Bill would adopt the Scottish model.

The following happened:

Parliament Square anti-war protester Brian Haw arrested

Parliament Square protester Brian Haw has been arrested for obstructing police during searches of tents on the green.

Anti-war campaigner Mr Haw, who has been camping there since 2001, was held as police searched the "peace camp".

Another protester Barbara Tucker, who has also been camping outside the Houses of Parliament, was arrested.

Now is it just me, or does there seem to be a slightly odd juxtaposition going on here? The police going in and arresting people who are peacefully protesting on a piece of ground opposite the Houses of Parliament whilst almost at the same time the government is proclaiming it will improve civil liberties and remove limits on rights to peaceful protest seems a bit jarring.

I hope Brian, Barbara and anyone else arrested are released soon and allowed to go back to protesting their cause peacefully.


redarsedbaboon said...

Serves the coalition right for the US-Congress-style hubris of the name 'Freedom (Great Repeal) Bill'.

Oh, sorry, New Politics, silly me, was forgetting.

Anonymous said...

I understand that the cause of the arrest was obstructing the security searches this morning prior to the ceremonial around the State Opening.

NoetiCat said...

It is traditional to search the square before the State Opening, and if someone resists that search they get arrested. It wasn't, as I first thought, part of Boris Johnson's move to clear Parliament Square of the "squatters".

MadEddieH said...

I'm disappointed Mark.

The two were arrested for obstructing security searches - they were not arrested because they were 'peacefully protesting' All the police wanted to do was search the tents, they were not looking to take any of the protesters away, simply to make sure that there wasn't any bombs/guns etc prior to the Queen visiting.

Hardly unreasonable and not the heavy arm of the authoritarian state which you, and no doubt much of the left make it out to be.