Guest post: William it was really nothing
Posted on April 29, 2011
This is a guest post by Polly
29th April – how was it for you? Possibly you were at a bit of a loose end if you’re the Syrian Ambassador, personally I spent the day cleaning. Some people however spent it residing in the cells at their local police station.
People like Chris Knight who was arrested on suspicion apparently of “planning to behead effigies of Prince William, the Queen, Charles and Camilla”, or Charlie Veitch arrested on “suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace.”
The ‘zombie wedding’ planned by knight was openly advertised on facebook but has now been deleted – apparently along with up to 50 other sites
The arrests aren’t exactly surprising, since over a week before the royal wedding, “pre-emptive” strikes were already being forecast in the press.
They weren’t the only arrests on the day – activists in Soho square were arrested
Iranian channel Press TV claimed technology to block Twitter was installed at Westminster Abbey
I’m not the only person by now who is wondering what exactly is going on in this country. Whilst there is obviously a policing problem with huge numbers of people on the streets and terrorist threats by the real IRA, both Knight and Veitch were quite open about their plans to protest. Charlie Veitch’s girlfriend said:
“I am very concerned that not only has somebody been arrested on an issue of free speech, and arrested for something he might say, he’s been held for almost 24 hours,”
“It’s quite outrageous.
I know some people worry about anarchists but police know that Charlie uses a megaphone. There’s a strong non-violent tradition of anarchism.”
In total 55 people were arrested and 90 were banned from central London
Police even raided a vegetable garden near Heathrow.
Media coverage has, unsurprisingly, been sparse, but whatever happened to the right to protest against an event that is not only of little interest to 79% of us but could allegedly cost the economy billions?
Metropolitan police commander Christine Jones told a journalist before the wedding that “There are 364 other days of the year when people can come to London and demonstrate and frankly it’s not appropriate on the day of the royal wedding for people to come to London with that intent.”
So it’s official – the Met don’t want you to say that actually you don’t give a toss about Wills and Kate and you’d rather do without them. And if you insist on your right to make that clear anyway they’ll make sure you can’t.
Makes me wonder why they bothered dis-inviting the Syrian ambassador.
Thanks Cath, there’s a video of what happened in Soho square here.
And Chris Knight being arrested here.
Thanks Polly. There’s also something coming out about police on horseback charging a Republican party in a Glasgow park, although some are saying the police had to act as violence had broken out. No doubt we’ll get the full story on that later (if anyone bothers to report it).
Meanwhile there was more trouble in Stokescroft with the police going in mob handed, and the govt used today as a day to bury bad news – apparently NHS trusts will be forced to make even more swingeing cuts than had previously been thought necessary.
Oh and facebook are claiming that 50 accounts of activist groups were suspended due to terms of service violation. It’s just that they happened to be suspended at the same time as the Royal Wedding. And they were all broadly on the left…
Oh I’m sure they are using today as an excuse to bury bad news, because they know anyone but the most ardent royalist will have been avoiding the media like the plague anyway. Not that there was anything on but the wedding. Radio 4’s PM programme had a piece about the arrests, but otherwise it was wall to wall frocks and balcony kisses.
There were various raids on squats and social projects apparently, not just the grow Heathrow raid.
What’s more suspicious is that this wedding took place the weekend before the council elections. Coincidence? I think not. Didn’t Westminster also ban voluntary food handouts for the homeless?
This is a muffling of dissent and people should be able to express their republican views. Of course as a woman I know all about the ‘calm down dear’ approach that men often employ to silence.
All I can do is thank Beatrice for wearing that hat. Brilliant.
If you look at Cath’s earlier post Maggie
It was quite clear this approach was decided some time ago. And it stinks, it really stinks. Fair enough, bar protests right outside the Abbey, I have no wish to watch the wedding, but some people did, and good luck to them. And it’s a reasonable security measure. But arresting people who are clearly harmless just because they dare to dissent?
Dearie me. Now you have got to realise that people must be allowed to protest elsewhere in places like Syria so that they don’t protest here and frighten the nice police horses. That’s why it’s important to defend other people’s right to protest to other people about other people in other places. And it’s also why we take a firm stand to ensure terrorists are always elsewhere, if there’s not enough places for them in the saddles….
So now we know: those “Human Rights” this country prides itself of “respecting so much” come with small print at the bottom, and it reads “these shall not apply during Royal Weddings”.
The Syrian ambassador got un-invited because Syrian authorities broke fire against protestors. They should have done it the “humane way”: keeping them in cells until the next day, just in case they happen to try something.
The glasgow party was allegedly broken up because people were drunk (I know it seems incomprehensible at a party in the summer).
From reports I’ve read elsewhere, it wasn’t really a royalist party though, people just seized the chance to have an outdoor party, and we can’t have that can we?
Here’s another video of the Soho assault. The people were singing “we all live in a fascist regime” to the tune of “Yellow Submarine” and playing the guitar when a bunch of police officers in plain clothing arrested them.
Beyond the pale.
Will we know when we are definitely living “in a fascist regime”?
I think we already are.
A somewhat sheepish looking policeman arrests Charlie Veitch…
Only 5 of those arrested have been charged.
Let’s hope there’s a few wrongful arrest actions then.
The tightening up on protesting in London has been happening for quite a while, it is just that RW day the heavy-handedness of these measures was more exposed.
I had to chuckle at the cops, raiding the vege garden. I am surprised they did not confiscate the tomatoes, just in case dissidents decided to throw vegetables. Or pehaps they should have banned hardware stores from selling paint too?
Yes, it is a fascist regime.
Thanks for this Polly, and thanks for posting it, Cath. It would be great if the newley-wed couple could see it somehow.
Sadly Kate has declared her intention to be a housewife from now on, so I expect she’ll be too busy dusting or something. I am thinking of writing to her pointing out that I’ve got a full time job and bank holidays when there’s nothing much on the telly provide ideal opportunities to get down to some hoovering…