By November 25, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

Police State in the UK? Shocking New Laws Ban Protest, Imply ‘Thought Crime’

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Former Director of Public Prosecutions Lord Macdonald recently said that the new bill to replace Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO) in the United Kingdom includes plans which are assault on basic freedom.

This proposed bill includes wide-ranging new orders known as Ipnas (Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance). This bill could restrict protests around the country, granting local authorities, police and even private security firms sweeping powers to ban citizens from lawful public assembly.

The bill plans to replace existing ASBO laws with new civil injunctions that Lord Macdonald said are “gross state interference” with “shockingly” weak proposed safeguards to prevent abuse of the new system. John Bingham writes for the Guardian UK that:

The new system will allow courts to impose sweeping curbs on people’s liberty if they think they are “capable of causing nuisance or annoyance to any person”. They will be able to impose them if they think it is “just and convenient” to do so.

Writing in a legal opinion commission drafted for the Christian Institute, which is opposing the plans alongside secularist campaign groups, he said: “Of course political demonstrations, street performers and corner preachers may be ‘annoying’ to some – they may even, from time to time be a ‘nuisance’.

The danger in this Bill is that it potentially empowers State interference against such activities in the face of shockingly low safeguards and little apparent acknowledgement of the potential effect of its provisions on the ability of citizens to exercise core rights without undue interference. A lone individual standing outside the entrance to a bank holding a sign objecting to its role in the financial crisis, a busker outside a shopping centre, or a street preacher proclaiming the end of days to passers-by may all be capable of causing nuisance and annoyance to some person, but the question is whether they should be subject to such broad legislative intervention as is proposed in this bill. Indeed, the pressing question is whether state interference in the context of behaviour that is merely potentially annoying could ever be justifiable or amount to a proportionate interference in those critical rights to freedom of speech, assembly and religion, or indeed to private life.

The Director of the “Reform Clause 1” campaign alliance, Simon Calvert said that “Just a few months ago the Government ditched a law criminalising unintentionally insulting words or behaviour. Now they want to criminalise unintentionally annoying words or behaviour. This is a crazy law. It will not deter thugs and hooligans who are normally already breaking lots of other laws anyway. But it will give massive power to the authorities to seek court orders to silence people guilty of nothing more than breaching political correctness or social etiquette. It is chilling that there is a complete absence of safeguards and any clear definition of what is deemed to be annoying. What this means in practice is that people going about their ordinary business, such as charity collectors, protestors, carol singers, street pastors – even people simply expressing strong opinions in public – could be classed as annoying and hauled before the courts. I am sure this was not the intention of the Government, but this legislation was badly conceived, is badly written and will stop many reasonable and hither to lawful activities.”

(Article by James Achisa)

1 Comment on "Police State in the UK? Shocking New Laws Ban Protest, Imply ‘Thought Crime’"

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  1. Richard Gearon says:

    That’s the plan, Stan, take away the guns then start taking away all other rights.

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