FITwatch | 28.04.2011 08:14 | Repression
The parasites' big day is nearly upon us and the rhetoric coming from the Met becomes more disturbing by the day with a benign but sinister state message warning us no protest will be tolerated but also advising supporters to monitor the weather! Human rights appear to have been suspended, civil liberties no longer matter and it’s all okay because we have 364 other days of the year to protest.
Meanwhile the media has gone into hysterical overdrive over a non existent anarchist threat with very similar themes to the crap which was written last time there was a royal event, the golden jubilee in 2002. Then,41 anti monarchists were arrested for sitting in a pub and the Met were forced to apologise and pay an 80k compensation bill.
Whilst many activists feel we shouldn’t give the royals our time or headspace, and the wedding should be ignored, it is also not surprising that many people find such a public display of wealth and pageantry at a time of austerity offensive and want to express these views. However, with the Met stating they will take ‘robust’ action against anyone even holding a banner, things are looking very bleak for freedom of speech and protest on Friday.
The Met have claimed protest on the day is not ‘appropriate’, and it “is a day of celebration, joy and pageantry”. It is not the role of the police to tell us what we should be feeling and it is deeply disturbing that the police feel it is their duty to decide when protest is appropriate. There has also been a deliberate blurring of the lines between protest and criminal activities. In a statement most dictatorial states would be proud of, the Met have asked the crowd to be their ears and eyes and report anything suspicious. It is clear they view any protest activity as criminal regardless of the intent of the participants.
Following the success of the black bloc on 26th March, it is clear the police are using the wedding as an excuse to clamp down on protesters. All those arrested have been giving bail conditions banning them from the wedding, and there have been several arrested in the last week, including raids taking place in Brighton today.
Anyone turning up in the vicinity of the wedding who is known to the police, or looks like they have the potential of being a dodgy protester is likely to be arrested. However every cloud has a silver lining and we could view this as a massive fundraising/investment opportunity for the protest movement. Turn up, do nothing, spend a few hours in a cell and rake in the compensation money in a couple of years time. After all, there’s nothing more satisfying than a Met sponsored protest!