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DPAC London demo blocking ambulances

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Fiz:
The demonstrations blocking motorways angers me. My daughter and partner work in A&E and are affected by the road blocks and can't get too and from life saving work. My Godmother's sil was unable to get to his chemo and scans. Self centred idiots that need dealing with.

Sunny Clouds:
Working in A&E?  I think that job must be emotionally and physically exhausting even without a pandemic, so I could see this sort of extra hassle pushing some over the edge.

As I'm typing my mind is meandering.  I've read and heard stuff with people interviewed about why they're doing this road stuff and one of them saying something along the lines of its being like war and ordinary people get hurt.

My mind is mapping that onto something.  Governments and trade sanctions.  Trying to bring regimes down.  It's sold to us as attacking nasty tyrants by cutting off their dodgy money supplies, but the reality is that it hits ordinary people who go without basics and achieves the aims of governments of countries like ours by triggering revolution or civil war in the sanctioned country. 

How often do we question our leaders over these things?  Or how Churchill said he regretted his five-city terror campaign, but we're not allowed to regret it, because we have to stick him on a pedestal. 

So the leaders of campaigns like Insulate Britain are, I suppose, just copying the nasty tactics of our leading politicians.  Get the man in the street annoyed enough to get ranty with the politicians. 

Well, serious problems can require hard tactics, but look how often the foment-revolution approach has backfired on the wealthy nations using it.  And I think this block the traffic approach will backfire when used.

Fiz:
Oh I'm not ranty with the politicians, just the people blocking the roads which is costing lives, literally. I'm not someone who feels angry generally but if I came across a road block I'd certainly give the demonstrators an earful. I was against the new rules that went through parliament about people's rights to protest but now the government have my full support on it. They can add in some jail terms, hefty fines and crushing vehicles used to block roads as well plus the drivers can lose their driving licences too. [size=78%] [/size]

Sunny Clouds:

--- Quote from: Fiz on 02 Oct 2021 04:53PM ---... I was against the new rules that went through parliament about people's rights to protest but now the government have my full support on it. They can add in some jail terms, hefty fines and ...

--- End quote ---

The new rules don't have my support.  I think that 'intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance' is far too wide.  How will the courts interpret 'public nuisance' in this context?  Taken with the provision that the police will be able to impose a start and finish time, consider the situation if you decide to have a peaceful protest, not obstructing anyone's access anywhere, not with continuous loud shouting.  Perhaps you've got a crowd near a public building with banners, maybe calling out your views (without obscenities or threats) to certain key figures, e.g. shouting to councillors as they enter the council house "Use your vote!" or to a police commissioner entering a public meeting "Vet your officers!"  The police could, in theory, stop the demo saying it was a public nuisance and/or set a time limit on it of ten minutes.

When you look at just how far the bill seeks to restrict our rights, it would prevent lots of peaceful demonstrations that would not be intimidating, would not restrict access to places etc.

There would be almost no demos of any sort that wouldn't fall foul of the rules.  I'm thinking of how many demos we hold where I am.  I remember a 'Love your Neighbour' demo we held, organised by the local interfaith group (including Humanists, so not all deist, and not restricted to people with any involvement in local faith communities) where we gathered in a local paved public space with placards and banners.

Under the new legislation Priti Patel is pushing through, the police could have put a time limit on it of a few minutes, not even enough to unfurl our banners, and could have argued that we were causing a public nuisance because people would have to walk a few yards further to get to a road crossing.  (I think the detour would have been about 15 yards).  Or they might have argued that the hubbub of assembling, the collective ordinary voices, was disturbing people having a smoke outside the pub nearby.

Seriously, unless the Lords manage to get through some serious amendments, this legislation would enable the police to stop even peaceful community cohesion demonstrations.  And if you know you're vulnerable to prosecution and sentencing if you protest pretty peacefully, where's the incentive not to protest very noisily and aggressively? 

Not for nothing did the phrase "Might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb" enter our language.  In the days when it was literally true you could be hanged for stealing a lamb, not only did you have an incentive when hungry to steal a sheep instead, you even had an incentive to kill the person whose sheep you stole, so they couldn't give evidence against you, because if you were caught for the murder, you'd be no worse off than if caught for stealing a lamb.

Fiz:
Despite it being approved and rubber stamped in parliament I haven't heard any outcries that protests have been prevented due to the new legislation so am unaware that people's fears are founded. Indeed Priti Patel is rushing through additional powers so that police have additional powers to prevent these road blockers from blocking roads and so current legislation isn't sufficient to prevent gridlock that costs lives. So as yet my jury is out on whether said legislation curtailed freedom of rights to protest. The aim of the legislation wasn't to stop people protesting but to allow other non protesting people to go about their lives and in my opinion they have rights too.

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