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Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 3:51 pm
by Ted
joel wrote:
Ted wrote:but the moment he starts to organise action against gays its a different story
How, exactly?


Any minority has a right to expect the state to defend them from violence or threats of violence, and if that defence is not forthcoming they have a right to self defence.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:55 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Norman

Can anyone please tell me what legislation the police were invoking when they demanded a spot fine of £80?


According to the Telegraph piece about the preacher:

"Christian campaigners have expressed alarm that the Public Order Act, introduced in 1986 to tackle violent rioters and football hooligans, is being used to curb religious free speech."

But haven't they also been using anti-terrorism legislation recently in similar cases? Maybe Dr Foxlee has some references on this.

It's disappointing that right wing papers seem more interested in such stories. PC infected regulation-crazy Noo Labour have no libertarian instincts whatsoever. Socialism claims to be an emancipatory project - but only so long as the emancipation fits certain guidelines, as history seems to prove. It seems only libertarian Tories and the likes of Class War seem keen to promote these causes. Oh and Shami Chakrabati as well of course, who is an all round good egg imho.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:19 pm
by NormanD
I would never equate the Labour Party with socialism, and it certainly wouldn't itself......

When the police stop & search you on the street (see discussion elsewhere) they are required to provide you with a receipt stating the reason for the stop, etc. This is a combination of targets to meet, and accusations to deny. On the spot fines? Immediate payment is required nowhere, as far as I know. This sounds like a simple shake-down, a Metropolitan mugging.

Do we have a right to be free from such corrupt practice, or is it a privilege only if your face / politics fit?

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:47 pm
by Ted
NormanD wrote:IOn the spot fines? Immediate payment is required nowhere, as far as I know. This sounds like a simple shake-down, a Metropolitan mugging.


Section 5 of The 1986 Public Order Act

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harassment ... r_distress


It wasn't an on the spot fine - they were simply telling him how much he was likely to be fined..

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 9:34 pm
by Gordon Neill
This story isn't quite what it appeared to be in the first place, is it? We were given the impression that an ordinary joe happened to stick a silly poster on his window and then five policemen kicked in his door and tried to shake him down for £80. And all this was supposed to illustrate the threats to free speech. I mean, you can't even put up a poster criticising the Tories without the rozzers wading in!

Only it turns out that this wasn't a one-off and that the guy has a long history of antagonising the police. Clearly, that still doesn't make the police action justifiable (although, of course, we're just getting the guy's version of the story). But I can start to see why the police were getting pissed off. With this context, the story starts to make a bit more sense. It had nothing to do with the stupid poster. And there was no shake down or 'metropiltan mugging'. The police were simply telling him how much he was likely to be fined.

If nothing else, it's all a little greyer, a little less black and white, than it first appeared.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:14 pm
by NormanD
So he got what he deserved and had it coming. That's a relief, eh?

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:36 pm
by Gordon Neill
No, I don't know enough about the story to know if the guy had it coming. Which is why I never suggested that.

What I did say was:
Clearly, that still doesn't make the police action justifiable


Another thing that I did say was:
If nothing else, it's all a little greyer, a little less black and white, than it first appeared


In other words, I was suggesting that the truth was a little more complex than the initial outline suggested.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 10:52 pm
by Ted
Gordon Neill wrote:This story isn't quite what it appeared to be in the first place, is it? We were given the impression that an ordinary joe happened to stick a silly poster on his window and then five policemen kicked in his door in.


Is that not what happened? Are there some people who are not "ordinary joes" before the law?

Gordon Neill wrote:Only it turns out that this wasn't a one-off and that the guy has a long history of antagonising the police. Clearly, that still doesn't make the police action justifiable


If by "antagonising the police" you mean "documenting occasions on which they break the law"...

You seem to be suggesting some kind of conspiracy within the police force to harass those who record what they do wrong. I certainly wasn't suggesting that. Quite the opposite. I generally favour cock-up over conspiracy every time....

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 11:27 pm
by Gordon Neill
Of course there are people who are not 'ordinary joes' before the law! They're called 'rich people' and they have access to the best lawyers that money can buy. Not that it sounds as though your guy falls into that camp.

But the initial version of the story made it sound as if the poster/door-kicking/not extracting £80 incident was a random event. It wasn't. The guy isn't an 'ordinary joe' in the sense that he's has a political agenda. That doesn't necessarily make him a bad guy. He might even be a good guy. I've no idea. But the story would have been more complete, less simplistic goodies-and-baddies, with that context. With it, I can understand the police action. Not condone it, before anyone pounces on that. But I can start to understand the sequence of events.

And by 'antagonising the police', you're right up to a point. I could mean "documenting occasions on which they break the law". But I could also mean "documenting occassions when they didn't break the law but people wished they had". I'm in no position to know. I was just trying to see it from the point of view of the police officers (and the 'local christians'), rather than simply accept one version of the story at face value. I'm like that.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:12 am
by Ted
A lot of my friends and acquaintances have "political agendas" - i.e. are members of political organisations - lefties, greens and anarchists of various flavours. Thats the world I've moved in for most of my adult life so they seem profoundly ordinary to me. I guess I just didn't think it needed mentioning.

The picture you paint of the police harassing journalists who try to monitor their activities (and it being "understandable") is actually rather more disturbing than my original post - which I saw as being about a police over-reaction to a not-very-threatening provocation. The Clash quote (you did pick that up didn't you?) was not meant entirely seriously. Quite seriously, but not totally.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 12:23 am
by Des
In my very limited experience of the police they seem to see political activists as a threat and over-react towards them in often aggressive ways. That's unless the activists are fascists of course, in which case they often turn a blind eye...

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 8:55 pm
by Gordon Neill
Ted said:

The Clash quote (you did pick that up didn't you?) was not meant entirely seriously.


I'm afraid it whizzed over my head, and at quite an altitude. I feel such a fool.

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 1:13 am
by jackdaw version
Image
The David Cameron 'onanist' poster that replaces the 'wanker' label police said was offensive. Photograph: David Hoffman for the Guardian

from http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/may/1 ... ter-police

A man who placed a poster of David Cameron containing the word "wanker" in his window has described how police handcuffed him in his home on election day, threatened him with arrest, and forcibly removed what they said was offensive campaign literature.

David Hoffman, 63, said police went "completely over the top" when they visited his home in Bow, east London, and demanded he take down the poster, which had been fixed to his window for weeks.

After he expressed concern at his treatment, Hoffman says, a local inspector told him over the phone that "any reasonable person" would find his poster "alarming, harassing or distressful". The visit from police followed a complaint from a neighbour, who told Hoffman she found the poster offensive. The word "wanker" was printed beneath a photograph of a smiling Cameron.

Hoffman said four officers knocked on his door on polling day. When asked by them for identification, he said he tried to momentarily close the door. The officers then forced the door open, he said.

"They burst into my house, pushed me back and handcuffed me. They said I had committed an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act, I was being detained, and I might be arrested."

Coincidentally, Hoffman has become one of Britain's most respected photojournalists after three decades chronicling alleged police brutality. He said that after the officers looked up his identity, they "calmed down". But the poster, one of several images of party leaders produced by the veteran anarchist group Class War, was removed.

In a statement, the Metropolitan police denied officers forced their way into Hoffman's home and claimed he was "restrained with handcuffs to prevent a breach of the peace" after becoming agitated. It said that "words of advice were given to the resident … who removed the material".

Hoffman said he would lodge a formal complaint. He has since returned the poster to his window, but replaced the word "wanker" with "onanist", derived from a biblical character in Genesis 38:9 whose seed was "spilled on the ground".


There's an audio link in the original article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/audio/2010 ... ter-police
Police discuss the free speech issues surrounding use of 'offensive' language WARNING: contains explicit language

Re: You have the right to free speech....

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:24 pm
by Ted