Pretty words from Tory minister Victoria Atkins yesterday could not hide the ugly truth that the Conservative Government is stealing your right to protest in a way best described as fascist.
Atkins, on Andrew Marr’s TV show yesterday (March 14), expressed concern over the way policemen attacked women at a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard, who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by a policeman.
But she went on to defend the new Police Bill that will allow constables to carry out further attacks on any public protest, demonstration, or rally – no matter how big or small – if even one person complains about noise.
Judge the Tories on what they do, not what they say.
Commentators are starting to realise that this is an attack on our right to protest against oppression – not just by means of male violence, or policing, but by the government itself. Comparisons are being made with Orgreave in the 1980s.
After watching the Sarah Everard vigil footage, it occurs to me that if the Police had done nothing, nothing would have happened.
— Phil Vanes (@phil_vanes) March 15, 2021
The suggestion that nothing would have happened without police intervention could also be made about the battle of Orgreave during the 1984 miners’ strike, where 6,000 police, including mounted officers, brutally attacked pickets – at one point taking part in a mounted charge on people who were sunbathing.
Current police priorities were demonstrated very clearly when more than 1,000 people took part in a protest in Parliament Square yesterday, against the policing of the Sarah Everard vigil.
Uniformed officers took a much less hostile attitude and stayed away from the crowd – but were criticised for forming a protective ring around a statue of Winston Churchill.
The message was clear:
— Russ (@RussInCheshire) March 14, 2021
Tfw a statue has more protection than women at a vigil https://t.co/6nPn0xhQpu
— Aleesha Khaliq (@a_leesha1) March 14, 2021
(TFW = That Feeling When…)
You can tell that the government supports heavy-handed policing. Met Commissioner Cressida Dick faced calls to resign over the attacks in Clapham Common on Saturday – but won’t.
Sadly, Labour leader Keir Starmer has stood with the government and against the people on this matter:
"…but Keir Starmer backed her remaining in post." https://t.co/wKViP55E8k
— simon maginn (@simonmaginn) March 14, 2021
Dick’s own attitude to Clapham Common seems to change depending on which aspect she’s discussing.
The organisation Reclaim These Streets had tried to organise a vigil but failed because Dick’s Met Police refused to co-operate. It happened anyway because people still went on an unofficial basis to make their feelings known.
One of the attendees was Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge – who was praised for her participation.
But consider Dick’s comments, not long afterwards:
so now Cressida Dick is saying that Kate Middleton attended an illegal vigil.. make up your mind are you going to take this up with the palace, I know it was only a photo shoot but seriously. how ridiculous is this. https://t.co/qn8DPkj2Z4
— Isobel_Waby DEFEND CORBYN (@Isobel_waby) March 14, 2021
It’s a glaring double-standard. Police would never have pinned the wife of the Prince to the ground, kneeling on her back. Why did they then consider it perfectly reasonable to do it to other women?
Why did Cressida Dick consider it perfectly reasonable for police to do that? And how can anyone justify her remaining in her job with that attitude?
Another protest is set to take place today (March 15) in Parliament Square, while MPs discuss the plan to clamp down on protests just like it.
If you can go, do. Boris Johnson’s government is dragging the UK into fascism and it needs to be countered.
Oh, you think it couldn’t happen here?
Well, George Orwell once described a fascist state as being like a boot stamping on a citizen’s face.
On Saturday night the police were very nearly doing just that. How much closer do they have to make it before you realise what is happening to you?
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