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Should Peaceful Protests Be Banned On Health and Safety Grounds?

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posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
So it’s the Health and Safety Act that’s taken away these peoples civil liberties?


- If you're going to call a mere relocation (not a ban) 'a liberty taken away' then yes, it would appear that in this case (according to what the city council are saying), it is

In fairness it should also be remembered that it is also true that a compromise has been offered by the council; which would surely be a case of - the local - authority going out of their way to safeguard those 'rights'.

BTW I take it we're now going to stop pretending this is all down to the central government's say so?


isn’t the work of legislation introduced by the Labour government that these people have to apply for permission to protest in the first place?


- Yes but that is a terrifyingly simplistic way of viewing legislation.

As far as this countries' Health and Safety legislation goes it is linked to and comprised of many Parliamentary Bills (including Bills passed in 1972, 1974, 1986, 1989, 1996, 1997 & 1999).
www.opsi.gov.uk...

......and don't forget there are also judicial reviews and court case law effecting this legislation.


I mean wasn’t there a time when you could just form a protest (i.e. without anyone having the time to check-create a stupid interpretation of the Health and Safety Act? (It may not comply with)


- Yes and times change.

People now are able to sue without having financial means behind them (the classic no-win no-fee situation) and they do.

The council (like all councils) have a duty to their tax-paying voters to minimise their liability under the law.

That is the reality, how could they possibly do otherwise?

.....and here we have a classic case of conflicting rights.

So, what to do?
Who's 'rights' should have priority, the resident council tax bill-payers of the area or the drive-in protesters?

This stuff can't just be ignored when it suits, these are the kinds of adult and sober considerations the legal advisers, councillors, Police et al are having to weigh-up.

Whilst it's easy to reduce this to an 'either or' arguement that kind of simplistic approach really doesn't encompass the whole scale of the issue at all.

So, when 'rights' conflict what do you do, hmmmm?


that quotes got less personal rhetoric than a stupid slogan for a national political party like “forward not back” (Labour election 2005)


- Well if you're standard of posting here is that 'it's better than what they put up as a backdrop at a party conference' I don't think it'll conjure much sympathy.


Why: Because it’s the right thing; because it looks democratic, because it is democratic because it shows tolerance of other people’s views and passion.


- No.
That "look", "passion" or "view" gives critics no right to disrupt and alter the lawful plans laid out many many months ago (IIRC major parts of the party conferences are planned over a year in advance).

The parties are all already heavily restricted in the possible venues they may use (due to size, accommodation in the area etc) and they also prefer to use only a select few locations on the very real basis of security (remember Brighton?).

Just because a group wants to protest on a doorstep or very close nearby (and won't accept an alternative offered anyway) that is no sound or serious reason to alter those plans.


because they have demanded that you will hand over my DNA and my eye scan in exchange for one of their biometric passports (i.e. equal to my legal right to leave this country).


- Cry all you like about it lib but biometric passports are rapidly becoming the only type many countries will accept.


More than 40 countries across the world are introducing biometric passports to comply with both the International Civil Aviation Organisation deadline in October and the US visa waiver scheme

www.computing.co.uk...


Labour may as well have abolished the right to peaceful protest as peaceful protest is no good if you can’t do it outside somewhere like a political conference.


- Interesting opinion lib.

But you won't be surprised to find that I don't agree.
Quite the opposite in fact.
I think it trashes the memory of those that sacrificed themselves for our rights to pretend this is on that level.
It isn't.

Members of my family did not fight, suffer injury and in instances die for this country so that a particular politically motivated group could pretend their rights to free speech and being heard in this country were being trampled upon (as they freely speak to and are reported in every newspaper and are broadcast on any and all TV channels they could arrange interviews with).
Just because they were not going to be allowed to stand exactly where they have demanded and have rejected all offers of compromise.

Cooo, talk about Blair being like Hitler or Stalin, the fascist horror, huh?


Get real.


We need a constitution to protect our rights against your average government legislation; but somehow I don’t think that’s coming any time too soon.


- Funnily enough if you really do think that yours is a fair and accurate portrayal of what the situation is them maybe you could join them in taking this up before the the courts as a breach of your human rights (seeing as this law, like all British law, is now subject to the provisions of the ECHR.......which is in itself a huge extension of your 'rights', thanks to this government).

The outcome might make a lot more interesting reading than a raft of over-excited rhetoric.




[edit on 20-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]




posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 12:49 PM
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- Interesting opinion lib.

But you won't be surprised to find that I don't agree.
Quite the opposite in fact.
I think it trashes the memory of those that sacrificed themselves for our rights to pretend this is on that level.
It isn't.

Members of my family did not fight, suffer injury and in instances die for this country so that a particular politically motivated group could pretend their rights to free speech and being heard in this country were being trampled upon (as they freely speak to and are reported in every newspaper and are broadcast on any and all TV channels they could arrange interviews with).
Just because they were not going to be allowed to stand exactly where they have demanded and have rejected all offers of compromise.



LOL it would be interesting to see you saying that to tthe families that who are carrying out that protest. Most of them are from families where those soldiers have been killed. I think they would take offense to your comment. After all it is their sons and daughters fighting out there not you is it.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 02:07 PM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
it would be interesting to see you saying that to tthe families that who are carrying out that protest.


- Why's that sj?

Are you honestly saying you cannot see anything shameful in the 'those that fought and died for our freedoms' comparison by those who are currently pretending that 'our' rights and 'our' liberty to free speech and to freely express 'our' POV are being denied in this country just because of a refused permission to protest on a particular exact spot.......

......as those doing this protesting make their claims publicly (pretending 'our' rights to free speech are denied etc etc) to any and every media outlet (print, radio and TV) in the country they can arrange an interview with?

You're really saying that you think it requires a member of ones' family to have been lost in (which one are we pretending there is no UN backing for this week?) Iraq or Afghanistan be able to spot how absurd and ridiculous that kind of claim is!?


I think they would take offense to your comment.


- I doubt 'they' are all of one mind on this.

I have no problem with people wishing to protest, I don't even have a problem with people being unhappy with the decision the council took.

I do have a problem with people who pretend that being asked to make a slight change of venue is some sort of enormous blow to freedom and liberty in this country and those who make laughably fatuous comments and comparisons about those who fought, struggled and sometimes died for our modern-day liberties and what the Labour government of today are doing.

....particularly as many of those liberties only arose because of the struggle of the Labour movement in the first place.


After all it is their sons and daughters fighting out there not you is it.


- Whilst that deserves respect in itself it does not settle anything in itself.

Just because you have lost a relative doing the duty for which they volunteered does not mean all reason must fly out of the window or all other comment and consideration is to be shut out.

Like I said, it not as if 'they' (as in all the relatives of those KIA) are all one homogeneous group, is it?


[edit on 20-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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Originally posted by Sminkeypinkey

In fairness it should also be remembered that it is also true that a compromise has been offered by the council; which would surely be a case of - the local - authority going out of their way to safeguard those 'rights'.


Or saving face against a bad press? According to Rose Gentle (in your previous replies external source) their requests (as in where else to protest) had been ignored until the media reports had forced a reply.
So it would seem that it was the protesters who had been looking for a compromise; and they’ve now finally been given one by the council. But exactly why they’ve been given one is obviously open to interpretation.

Not least because it would appear that there is no legal reason why health and safety “concerns” cannot be used to stifle peaceful protest. This isn’t exactly good for safeguarding the future of our democracy; in fact (perhaps) arguably there should be no law capable of stifling peaceful protest; in my view if health and safety gives a theoretical right to protesters to claim compensation “for being allowed” to protest in a “unsafe” area then the right to compensation should be removed.
Given that the government has literally created several thousand pieces of legislation (since coming to office in 1997)
1.www.dailymail.co.uk...
2.www.dailymail.co.uk...
3. comment.independent.co.uk... (It’s actually 2023)

You would of thought removing the “right” for protester to claim compensation for injury during peaceful protest would quite easy. For example if you trip up on a public right of way (like a wooded lane) you get nothing (at least till recently anyway) because by using it you accept all risk. That’s the way it should be with protest.


Who's 'rights' should have priority, the resident council tax bill-payers of the area or the drive-in protesters?


Well given that the vast majority of residential council tax payers probably agree with the right to peaceful protest; and probably disagree with it being curtailed under health and safety legislation I think Manchester City Council would serve them best by footing them with the theoretical liability. This is particularly because it is theoretical (i.e. that ideologically motivated people would sue for you letting them protest).
Frankly I think Manchester City Council has wasted taxpayers money by even paying legal experts to investigate whether it’s possible to ban peaceful protest under health and safety legislation (not least because it is unlikely to have the general support of any electorate in any part of the country).




isn’t the work of legislation introduced by the Labour government that these people have to apply for permission to protest in the first place?


- Yes but that is a terrifyingly simplistic way of viewing legislation.

Well (details of the various legal mechanisms at work aside) at least we agree on that.
But I doubt we’ll agree though that it’s one more piece of evidence towards the slide towards authoritarian (perhaps one day a totalitarian) government. However that is what it is (as (somehow) under this government we have moved away from the days of being able to protest in any public space you like). It’s insignificant in itself until you remember the kilometre protesting bans from parliament, biometric passports and other thing I mentioned earlier.

I am glad the protesters have (apparently) been allowed to visibly and audibly make their protest near the conference centre. But I despise the fact its not a legal guarantee within overall protest law that’s done this. Rather its “merely” the actions of the council (no doubt (in part at least) driven by the bad publicity).

I would feel a lot safer under this Labour Government if there was some legal guarantee to peaceful protest (even with terrorism and particularly health and safety considered). I ideologically oppose people having to ask for permission to protest in a public space; every person can determine their own risk.
And I also believe that it’s healthy in a democracy that extreme fury of the crowds should be able to threaten the stability of government; this isn’t always good, but as the resignation of Margaret Thatcher following the poll tax riots shows it’s a price well worth paying.

Further Related Reading
Labour Removing Civil Liberties article…

www.guardian.co.uk...
www.telegraph.co.uk.../opinion/2006/07/16/do1606.xml
Ha, Ha New Labour could arrest Itself under its own terror laws…
www.theregister.co.uk...

If George Orwell had called his last book 2084 would it be 100% right? It’s hell for us if it is; and a U-turn if it isn’t.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
Or saving face against a bad press?


- You say potayto I'll say potato.



Not least because it would appear that there is no legal reason why health and safety “concerns” cannot be used to stifle peaceful protest.


- Yes there is; the decisions can be challenged under the ECHR.

Perhaps not in time to alter this years events but that is what that legislation is all about.

Which renders the rest of your comments about the "safeguarding the future of our democracy" rather redundant.


You would of thought removing the “right” for protester to claim compensation for injury during peaceful protest would quite easy.


- No.
You cannot, generally, voluntarily 'give up' your rights, think about it, the idea is ridiculous as well as, potentially, deeply dangerous.

......and there's you, apparantly, always wanting to extol the virtues of freedoms and rights and you'd encourage a situation where a person could deny (or be encouraged to deny) their own human rights and freedoms when it suits, what sort of nightmare world would that spawn lib, huh?


Well given that the vast majority of residential council tax payers probably agree with the right to peaceful protest; and probably disagree with it being curtailed under health and safety legislation I think Manchester City Council would serve them best by footing them with the theoretical liability.


- Which is nice except it is total guesswork on your part.
In any event the fact remains that the city council are legally bound to remain within the law.

They cannot simply choose to ignore the law (against advice) on the basis that they 'think' maybe the people who foot the bills would be ok with them taking on vast liabilities if something went wrong.

People can have a marvellous habit of claiming to be relaxed about things.....right up until a huge bill for the consequences of that hits their pockets.


Frankly I think Manchester City Council has wasted taxpayers money by even paying legal experts to investigate whether it’s possible to ban peaceful protest under health and safety legislation (not least because it is unlikely to have the general support of any electorate in any part of the country).


- That's absurd lib.
They must take legal advice.
They are discharging their duty by doing so which they are legally bound to do.

The idea that this is in itself a waste of money is just absurd.

You might want to stop the world and get off but the realities of the adult world are what they are today and rather childish complaints about it don't alter that one jot.

If people feel the council has acted unlawfully or in a manner contrary to their human rights and statutory liberties then they should look to test this in the courts. That's how it's done properly and in a manner that establishes legal precedent for others that come after them/us.

We have around 1000yrs of recorded common/case law built up in this manner and it has suited us fine, dangerous daydreams of sweeping that all away because you don't think it suits (today right this minute) doesn't seem to me to be a particularly sensible or sustainable way forward.


I doubt we’ll agree though that it’s one more piece of evidence towards the slide towards authoritarian (perhaps one day a totalitarian) government.


- Quite right, because it is not.

A quarrel over the legality of a demonstration and/or a slight change of venue resulting from that dispute does not herald a fascist state or mean all your freedoms have been torched.

Especially when it can be demonstrated that your rights and liberties have actually been expanded by this government.


I would feel a lot safer under this Labour Government if there was some legal guarantee to peaceful protest


- You do have a right to protest.
You just can't protest in the manner you like, in the place you like, whenever you like.
......which if you're going to be honest about it that is same as it ever was.

You never could just do anything you liked whenever or wherever you liked.


I also believe that it’s healthy in a democracy that extreme fury of the crowds should be able to threaten the stability of government


- If you didn't live in a functioning democracy that might well be acceptable, but you do.

So no thanks, we'll not be falling in behind the mob and the loud-mouth rabble-rousers.
Not in this country.


but as the resignation of Margaret Thatcher following the poll tax riots shows it’s a price well worth paying.


- Well you can go with the reality of the history of what happened or you can stick to this fantasy lib but it is fantasy, it is not the truth of the matter.
Mrs T was not brought down by the poll tax riot in London.

I was there, in London at the time and sorry the facts are that she wasn't.

Those riots were not 'popular'.
(and however 'Southeast or London-centric' you might be stories of a London riot on a particular day aren't going to be top of the agenda in much of the country).
Riots never are popular in the UK.

This is particularly so as the riot bit of the mass demo invariably comes later in the day and tends to almost exclusively involve those who go along especially because they are 'up for a fight' and not actually members of the 'ordinary general public'.....who if they do get caught up in it usually try and get away ASAP.

IIRC people generally did think the government had helped bring them on with their obstinate stupidity but that does not mean they supported the riot.

The big London demo/riot was in march 1990; Thatcher was ejected from power by her tory colleagues in nov 1990 after well over a year of tory party intrigue.
It was not a single event (or even a couple of events) that saw Thatcher's downfall, it had been building for quite some time.
news.bbc.co.uk..." target="_blank" class="postlink">Run-up to Thatcher's downfall

Thatcher's refusal to budge in the face of the vast numbers of people refusing to pay the poll tax were what forced the tory parties' hand (and even then loads of them still were deeply in love with her.......as the later years of trouble-making doing her 'Queen in waiting across the sea' routine showed during John Major's government).
That along with things like her more loopy comments such as "we are a grandmother" when her 1st grandchild was born or the developing tory insanity over Europe (which she had nurtured since the mid 1980's) were as much to do with a general perception that she had finally lost touch with reality and had to go.
Geoffrey Howe's devastating Parliamentary resignation speech (the last in a long line of senior and hitherto loyal colleagues to go) was the icing on the cake.

It was not a one-off example of riotous behaviour and civil disturbance that forced her out.
Sorry but no matter what ridiculously grandiose claims are made about the riots the facts are that it was the nation-wide quiet refusal to pay that killed the poll tax and Thatcher had to go for a host of reasons, many of which were nothing to do with the poll tax and certainly not just the riot over it.

If anything the rioting brought support to the government and the whole tory 'law and order' agenda.....

.....which is how come John Major was able to ditch the poll tax, bring in a new local property based tax and claim they (the tory party) had all fundamentally changed and go on to be reelected to government less than 2yrs later in 1992..



[edit on 21-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 08:52 AM
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Banning peaceful protest is wrong. It's abusive, controlling, and unacceptable. When it comes right down to it, banning a protest is the same as saying, "You no longer have the right to openly disagree with me."

To relocate the protest is just as bad. Why can't they relocate the war? Take all the soldiers who really want to battle this out and put them in a deserted area where no civillians will be murdered. Sound ridiculous? It's no more rediculous than saying, "You can only protest way over there away from me so I won't have to deal with it."



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:03 AM
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Well I realise it is kind of unfashionable to mention it and it kind of knocks the 'black and white' stance some wish to take in this debate
but
the truth is that the idea that protesters ever could just do what they liked without restrictions of any kind is what is quite simply wrong.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:43 AM
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Are you honestly saying you cannot see anything shameful in the 'those that fought and died for our freedoms' comparison by those who are currently pretending that 'our' rights and 'our' liberty to free speech and to freely express 'our' POV are being denied in this country just because of a refused permission to protest on a particular exact spot.......


Those families have every right to protest.




You're really saying that you think it requires a member of ones' family to have been lost in (which one are we pretending there is no UN backing for this week?) Iraq or Afghanistan be able to spot how absurd and ridiculous that kind of claim is!?



Yeah just as ridiculous you saying they are disgracing those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan, oh and btw when the Iraq War started there was no UN Mandate for it. The UK and US ignored the UN went ahead with it anyways.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 10:56 AM
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Originally posted by spencerjohnstone
Those families have every right to protest.


- You'll be struggling to find anyone that has said they have not.

The truth is (as I have said all along) that this is not about the families (this group represents) being refused the right to protest, this is merely about where they can protest and under what arrangements.
Which is nothing like the same thing.


Yeah just as ridiculous you saying they are disgracing those who died in Iraq and Afghanistan


- Again I did not actually say that.

I said it was a disgrace to pretend that all of our liberties were being taken away just because a protest has been denied access to protest at the site they wanted.

I also pointed out that it was grossly inaccurate to pretend that all this government had done since coming to office was restrict our liberties.

IMO that kind of ludicrously exaggerated and poorly informed nonsense is a rather cheap insult to the truth of the struggle for real rights and liberty in this country.


oh and btw when the Iraq War started there was no UN Mandate for it.


- Interesting you keep mentioning Afghanistan.....are you saying the removal of the Taliban should not have happened?

The truth is that there were and are several UN resolutions in relation to both Afghanistan and Iraq.

But, seeing as you appear to find them so vital, what about the mandate that exists right now, hmmmm?

Is it OK for British troops to be there (and dying) with a proper UN mandate for involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq now?

Or do you just pick and chose the importance you attach to UN madates when it suits your political view, hmmmm?


The UK and US ignored the UN went ahead with it anyways.


- If you review the history of the events that actually happened (re Iraq) you'll find the specific UN resolution 1441 (drafted jointly by the UK & USA) was passed.

Hardly a case of ignoring the UN. -


On November 8, 2002, the UN passed Resolution 1441 urging Iraq to disarm or face "serious consequences".
The resolution passed with a 15 to 0 vote, supported by Russia, China and France, and Arab countries like Syria.
This gave this resolution wider support than even the 1990 Gulf War resolution.

en.wikipedia.org...

- It is true that a so-called '2nd resolution' failed to attract UN support but that does not erase the fact that resolution 1441 was passed with unanimous UN support and was srongly worded about the consequences of Iraq's failure to comply with the inspections etc.
Saddam chose to play with fire and lost his gamble, the US & UK were not prepared to accept his stalling any further and so the war happened.

But you cannot say the UN had nothing to do with it.

You'll also find forces from around the world are currently engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq on a proper UN mandate.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 12:11 PM
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the decisions can be challenged under the ECHR.


Interesting: If the European Court of Human Rights is capable of guaranteeing “the right to peaceful expression” I wonder if it could guarantee it outside parliament where the kilometre protest ban is in force? Of course it might be that you only have a right to peaceful expression if you gain permission from the police and local council; but generally my interpretation of the word “right” is that its not subject to permission; only criteria (in this case peaceful protest being the case).
If so could much of the governments current protest restrictions be in violation of European Law?
If however the government isn’t in violation of European Law then I would like you to expand on how exactly it prevents the abuse of health and safety legislation; or the use of an act of parliament to ban law abiding citizens from protesting within a designated area.


- No.
You cannot, generally, voluntarily 'give up' your rights, think about it, the idea is ridiculous as well as, potentially, deeply dangerous.


All I'm suggesting is that people be allowed to give up one set of rights (i.e. their right to claim compensation for an “unsafe” peaceful protest) so that they can claim another: The right to protest in what the authorities deem “this unsafe peaceful protest”
Of course to you (personally) the right to go on an unsafe peaceful protest might be a lot less important than the right to claim compensation for having been on one. So that’s why I suggest sane consenting individual adults be entitled to make their own choices.


there's you, apparantly, always wanting to extol the virtues of freedoms and rights and you'd encourage a situation where a person could deny (or be encouraged to deny) their own human rights and freedoms when it suits, what sort of nightmare world would that spawn lib, huh?


A very nightmarish world: It would be one where the authorities couldn’t tell people not to protest outside the Labour Party Conference “because it’s unsafe”.
Hell just think of adults being able to say “thank you for your rights; and up yours because I’ve suspended them”. I never suggested people should be able to irreversibly give up their rights (as agreed) that could create a moral mess.
However I believe any right you cannot suspend (no matter how sane and desperate to do so you may be) is actually a violation of rights in itself (very liberal of me).
You see I believe anyone (accept the young, criminal or insane) is the captain of their own fate first and foremost. European-U.K law might disagree with that; and wherever it does I disagree with it so much I almost fail to recognise it.


A quarrel over the legality of a demonstration and/or a slight change of venue resulting from that dispute does not herald a fascist state or mean all your freedoms have been torched.

Especially when it can be demonstrated that your rights and liberties have actually been expanded by this government.


Context sminkey!!! context: I.D cards, biometric passports, nationwide tracking of vehicles through CCTV, 28 days captivity without charge or trial, legal requirements to request permission to form a protest (in particular the 1Km Westminster protest exclusion zone), police protester stop and search powers “harassment powers” (according to thousands of so called terror suspects who witnessed them).
Not least read this article: www.telegraph.co.uk.../news/2005/12/29/narrest29.xml
(I also gave some others earlier).

Summary…

Yes I am glad Manchester Council has compromised with protesters (after all the media attention that was given). However I'm not happy with sane & adult people being unable to voluntarily suspend their own rights. If there’s a chance of the law is abused then you simply put a clause in the law saying “the decision to suspend their rights cannot to have been subjected to coercion by an outside body; otherwise the said body is in violation of the law).
If people had the freedom to opt out of their rights then things like the Health and Safety Act could not be used to restrict peaceful protest. The net result would be a more liberal, adult, and (legislatively) democratically secure society.

[edit on 090705 by Liberal1984]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 12:37 PM
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Originally posted by Liberal1984
If the European Court of Human Rights is capable of guaranteeing “the right to peaceful expression” I wonder if it could guarantee it outside parliament where the kilometre protest ban is in force?


- The ECHR could certainly be called upon to 'test' this interpretation of the law (afterall although it is now incorporated into British law, 'Europe' can be appealed too if complainants are unhappy with the decision given in a British court).


Of course it might be that you only have a right to peaceful expression if you gain permission from the police and local council; but generally my interpretation of the word “right” is that its not subject to permission; only criteria (in this case peaceful protest being the case).


- As I said earlier this is part of the problem.
For some reason some people imagine their 'rights' are something they are not.

You never have been 'free' to do anything you liked at any time anywhere.

....and let's strip away the flannel, no matter how they dress them up all 'rights', ultimately, are conferred by the state.
None of them exist independantly as if by force of nature.


If so could much of the governments current protest restrictions be in violation of European Law?


- Sometimes it has been shown to be and sometimes not.
That's been the whole point of referring to the 'European court' to 'test' opinion
(which is not the EU btw).


A very nightmarish world: It would be one where the authorities couldn’t tell people not to protest outside the Labour Party Conference “because it’s unsafe”.


- Most amusing, now let's consider some far more serious examples; like a written waver being produced supposedly from a defendant showing he/she agreed to a summary execution or torture or being imprisoned without trial for an undetermined period etc etc.

It's just not a path anyone would knowingly take (which is why you can't do it under our law and have never been able to do it).

It's the tactics of the despot......and you'd welcome that?!


Context sminkey!


- What you mean ID cards the terms of which haven't been formally set out yet?
Biometric passports which are being used (and will be demanded) in more and more countries when you travel (regardless of what this country does)?
CCTV, like the public are demanding?
28 days detention which was passed by normal Parliamentary majority?

As for Police stop and search you might want to have a look at the old 'sus' laws; the checks and balances in place now are far superior to what we used to have (but no doubt that'll just provoke a lot of 'Police bogged down in admin' comments as both ends get played against themiddle - again).

.....and having worked in London you'll get no sympathy from me at being refused the 'right' to be a pain in the ar*e at one of the main choke points.
Sorry but being able to rant outside Parliament is not my definition of freedom and being asked to move elsewhere is not IMO the removing of the 'right' to free speech in this country.


However I'm not happy with sane & adult people being unable to voluntarily suspend their own rights.


- Well hard lines then because for very good reason that has been the way of things here since long before this government.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 04:21 PM
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BUT FIRST
So far I’ve taken away from this debate…
1. The government is in ether violation of European Law; or The Health Safety Act-this governments demands for permission to peacefully protest, have successfully infringed our rights to peaceful protest. Alternatively the government is not in violation of European law and therefore European Law does not stop the government declaring “peaceful protest free zones” (something which is obviously threatens the future of our democracy).
Note: The definition of a threat as something which may or may not be carried out.

2. I’ve suggested that a political party truly committed to the principles of democracy (i.e. peaceful protest) would sooner move the party conferences location changed, than to have peaceful protest prohibited outside it (by virtue of law). And that people should have the right to suspend their own rights to things like health and safety compensation; so that they may make use of other “rights” (in this case the right to peaceful protest).

3.

It's the tactics of the despot......and you'd welcome that?!

You’ve failed to notice how thought out this thread I’ve worried ”to what degree” the government is employing the tactics of despot? And I don’t welcome that.


The Concrete Foundations of Authoritarianism…


- What you mean ID cards the terms of which haven't been formally set out yet?

Rubbish!!! (Quote from Walter Wolfgang Labour Party Conference 2005)
Sminkey if you think the terms of I.D cards haven’t been set out yet I suggest you look at this link: en.wikipedia.org...
news.com.com...

As for (the separate) biometric passports (which again have already been passed) news.bbc.co.uk... I agree with Spencerjohnstone earlier that “hell will sooner freeze over before the government gets their hands on my DNA-eye scan”. If they weren’t so damn authoritarian; their mindset would accept that if other people need biometric passports to get to other countries then those other people can choose to have a British biometric passport. What annoys me is that this libertarian government has held my right to leave this country hostage (something no terrorist has ever done). They have completely disregarded the fact that there are millions of people who aren’t s*** scared about terrorism, but are concerned about cooperating in giving their DNA to the state. Personally this has been reinforced by the overall reaction to peaceful protests, rights, and civil liberties in general. And if it wasn’t for them I would be unlikely to ever need the European Human Rights act anyway.
Personally I think its act of moral treason for me to cooperate in giving them my DNA for their passports; or I.D cards, or to recognise any restrictions they have put in place on peaceful protest in public places. I'm livid this stance (if enacted) makes me a criminal. They have gone too far.


CCTV, like the public are demanding?

No I have zero problems with the CCTV the public is demanding; in fact I'm open to more of it.
The “CCTV” I was referring to was the government’s nationwide license plate reading system. (Geovision License Plate Recognition System)…

Here’s the technology…
1. www.ezcctv.com...#
Growth in the U.K…
2. www.cctv-information.co.uk...
3. It’s how the congestion charge works: www.spy.org.uk...

The government plan in action
1. www.spy.org.uk...
2. Long article: www.vanityfair.com...
3. More technology: www.wired.com...

Near Future…
Don’t forget face recognition…
1. news.bbc.co.uk...
2. www.dectel.co.uk...
3. www.soundalert.com...

The Problem…
If an authoritarian minded government ever came to power in the U.K (huge if; I know sminkeypinky) then they would be able to track everyone’s car journeys when they form a political meeting; they would be able to do it for years at a time.
And with face recognition the problem is repeated again but with you as in individual.

With I.D cards, biometric passports “terrorist” draconian protest legislation; a possible renewed attempt for 90 imprisonment without charge or trial nobody can argue that the foundations for an authoritarian state are being laid.
The question is with all our politicians (like Tony Blair) being descended from angels, and being such wonderful people free from temptation, would any of them use these foundations we have an authoritarian state?
A certain clause in human nature (never mind “political animal” nature) shouts an emphatic “yes”.

This is why I get so worked up over protest legislation; because its to do with the context it is in.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 04:53 PM
link   

Originally posted by Liberal1984
The government is in ether violation of European Law


- That might be the case; a case has yet to be brought to test the proposition.


The Health Safety Act-this governments demands for permission to peacefully protest, have successfully infringed our rights to peaceful protest.


- Well that doesn't tell us anything, this is a self evident truth right now.

There are numerous scenarios where the H&S legislation would ban or prohibit a demo already
(and this has been the case for years as H&S law is nothing new as I showed in a link before).


Sminkey if you think the terms of I.D cards haven’t been set out yet I suggest you look at this link


- That still does not alter the fact that neither a formal Bill setting out the entire ID cards 'law' nor the procedures and practices implementing such a law in the UK have not yet been defined under the law.

There are all sorts of studies, consultations, suggestions, papers and recommendations floating about but they are not law as passed by Act of Parliament.


As for (the separate) biometric passports (which again have already been passed) news.bbc.co.uk... I agree with Spencerjohnstone earlier that “hell will sooner freeze over before the government gets their hands on my DNA-eye scan”.


- Well in that case you are going to find in the near future that fewer and fewer countries will let you in if you refuse this new passport.

You can pretend this is just all about a nasty authoritarian government here in this country spitefully acting out some sort of authoritarian nightmare
or
you can realise the truth that identity and these efforts to try and enhance security are a serious factor becoming more and more important in more and more countries the world over.

There's no point moaning about Tony Blair and pretending it's all his fault and this Labour government's fault when the USA, Greece or Spain etc etc won't let you in on your holidays if you don't have an acceptable passport.


if it wasn’t for them I would be unlikely to ever need the European Human Rights act anyway.


- To quote Wolfgang "rubbish".
You really ought to know more about the history of your own country lib.

A fundamental guarantee of rights and liberty has always been a problem in the UK until the ECHR came along.
Until it was enacted you were, in the eyes of British law, a subject, mere Royal property.
That's why we have so much trouble still over the limits and effects of 'Crown Immunity'.


The “CCTV” I was referring to was the government’s nationwide license plate reading system. (Geovision License Plate Recognition System)


- There's a world of difference between a commercial proposal made to government and the government actually buying, installing, implementing and operating such an enormously complex, expensive and huge national system.
Not every scary tale you hear of is true you know.

Right now local authorities are reponsible for cameras in their area (excepting motorways IIRC).
Not central government.

In fact the track record of this government is to change the law and instruct local authorities to make their existing cameras visible and not be hiding them from the public.

What it boils down to is that if you want to scare yourself with tales of scary authoritarian fascists out to get you then go ahead, you can if you like.

......but then you always could.
Irrespective of the technology you imagine might be used.

Number plate recognition?
Pfffhhhh.
They track every car/numberplate on computer now and have done for decades at the DVLC.
Face recognition?
What do you think your passport photo is all about?
You don't think your National Insurance number is insignificant in this do you?
.....and as for what is on the Police's central database at Hendon, oh dear.

You're scanned, tracked and watched umteen times a day as it is; but day dreams that the world's turned all fascist on you just because your passport got more sophisticated or the cops can nick you for speeding by measuring distance/time between some roadside cameras in a few areas of the country are IMO self-serving delusion and IMO at heart a red herring.

Personally I'm far more concerned with the inability of our government to stand up to global corporations and their powers than an increasing more open executive
(and no matter which way you look at it things like the Freedom of Information Act, however imperfect you might believe it to be, is an extension of opennesss in government just as the ECHR is an extension of our rights).

[edit on 21-9-2006 by sminkeypinkey]



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 09:40 PM
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Excellent Reply Sminkeypinky but I don’t think I am ever going to agree with you because what the issues boils down to is a matter of trust.

Whilst you think the peaceful protest issue was only a matter of relocating it slightly for the potential benefit of all (particularly because of the compromise that’s now been reached) I think it was (originally) a sinister use of Health and Safety legislation to clear the conference buildings area of surrounding protesters (particularly because it took so much time for the council to answer the protesters concerns about where else to protest).

Whilst you think things like biometric passports are being made compulsory because we need this security, and other countries (namely America) will have them; I think they’re going to be compulsory because the government is anxious to get its hands on a nationwide profile of our DNA, and to hand out more contracts to companies that make them (as well as the other information that will become commercially available).

Regarding the other things I brought up (like the License Plate Recognition System) these just raise my concerns still further.

And how the British people react will depend on how much they can put their trust in government.

A Alkaline Test…
But let’s just assume the government is innocent in this whole thing. Isn’t it the case that the way they have behaved (is frankly) stupid?
If they want everyone to have biometric passports all they need say is this: “You have two choices, you can have a standard British passport or you can have a advanced biometric one (both are at the same price; sorry we sell them to you).”

If that was the case I might think to myself: “Well I might want to visit America, or perhaps China or whatever country next introduces them. I know why don’t I have a biometric passport? (One which being what it is I can take anywhere without thinking twice) far better than a paper one.”
As for security it’s not all bad; those who go without a biometric passport would mark themselves out for surveillance (especially when; or if they fit other profiling).

Instead what the government does is they say: “You will have a biometric passport because otherwise you won’t have a passport.” You can trust us we’re you’re friend.

Big Mistake

Then the protest thing; instead of getting back to the protesters and saying “you cannot have a protest right there, but you can have one right here”
They say: “you cannot have a protest because it doesn’t confirm with the Health Safety legislation”
Then the suspense…
Then it’s…
“Oh wow media; ah no!!! Protesters; you can have a protest right here! Let’s call it a compromise? (Terrible press, how bad of the press?)”
So you see at the very least someone’s kicked the brains out of their media management (for all that they are apparently so good at it).

Because the way they’ve done things it only seems to make “sense” when you look at it through authoritarian eyes: i.e.…
“Ah shame that Health and Safety thing didn’t work on those protesters this time; let’s give in-compromise.”
And: “We’ll have to make I.D biometric passports compulsory because otherwise we won’t be able to get our hands on nearly every persons DNA; near immediately.”

So you see things don’t look good. And whether that’s down to bad people-press management, sheer arrogance, or sinister thought; is something I don’t know.

But I and most people on ATS (being what it is) but probably also most people in this country won’t want to take this risk. And if we do it’s only because we are being forced to (or some people too numb to have a political opinion anyway).
But I can tell you this: when people are forced to do something, it’s generally something they resent. And the issues being what they is (civil liberty in nature) are going to associate the government with interfering with something they’d wish they had not been associated with interfering at least in an authoritarian fashion. And making people do things (rather than giving them a choice) is authoritarian. The only question is if it’s good or bad; in this case the ends do not justify the means, and if only Labour could see that, and is innocent with what they’re going to be associated with; then I’d almost feel sorry for them.
However it’s currently clear (at this stage) that even if Labour is innocent of any wrong-bad intent; they (as in leadership) still feel they have the right to force things like biometric passports on people (rather than use methods of logic to seek a decent compromise). Therefore I will never feel sorry for them; but should they back down (just a little) then they can be removed of any nasty charges in (most) peoples minds (whilst still getting the result they wanted; i.e. the wide scale use of biometric passports). So “stupid” or “authoritarian” (take your pick) neither is good enough characteristics for me.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 11:03 PM
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It is true that a so-called '2nd resolution' failed to attract UN support but that does not erase the fact that resolution 1441 was passed with unanimous UN support and was srongly worded about the consequences of Iraq's failure to comply with the inspections etc.


Both countrys ignored the UN ann went ahead and done it anyways, without the approval of the UN, They tried to get a new resolution through and they withdrew it early, why because the other 3 countries on the Permenent 5 threatened to use their veto to block it. They had no justification what so ever to invade Iraq. They UK and USA were in violation of International Law, and also broke the UN Charter.

Yeah cool let our soldiers get killed over Oil how nice. Yeah so much good the invasion done look at the mess they made in that country. So much of those so called WMD's being in Iraq eh.





[edit on 21-9-2006 by spencerjohnstone]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 01:59 PM
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This is due to the compromise the council reached with protesters (as sminkeypinky showed earlier)

According to the police there were 20,000 protesters and more than 1000 police.
www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk...

Now if only the council had said you can protest near the conference from the beginning they would have avoided articles like this…
Daily Mail Link


The Big Question…
(Like I said in my previous post)
Did the Labour Council fail to offer a compromise with the beginning because they were “stupid”? (with handling the media). Or were they trying to stifle political protest outside their political party’s annual conference?

mod edit: Cut down link to correct page width

Please use this in the post creation window in future to cut down the length of your link, as long url's can alter the width of the page.
Or alternatively you can use: [url=www.urlhere.com]link name here[/url]
A good walkthrough to explain in more detail is ATTN :Image Size Guidelines



[edit on 24-9-2006 by UK Wizard]



posted on Sep, 24 2006 @ 05:08 PM
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The Big Question…

(Like I said in my previous post)
Did the Labour Council fail to offer a compromise with the beginning because they were “stupid”? (with handling the media). Or were they trying to stifle political protest outside their political party’s annual conference?


Knows I will be shot down in flames for saying this. If it is true r.e the article in the Daily Mail, it is a slap in the face, to the families of those killled in the line of duty.

There has to be someone else behind this, rather than just the councillors trying to stifle protests outside the Conference.

This part of the article is ridiculous:



Last year, Maya Evans was arrested for reading out a list of 98 British soldiers who have died in Iraq at the Cenotaph, the memorial to Britain's war dead.

The 25-year-old was found guilty of breaking rules stopping unauthorised demonstrations within 1km of Westminster and ordered to pay £100 costs.



LOL we are not even allowed to read out the names of those who have died on that war without being charged. What the hell is this country comming to.



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