Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Police State-Banning Protest

Councillor Kieran Quinn
I've been involved in politics long enough to know that most political groups or parties attract more than their fair share of nutters and outright lunatics, some harmless others not so. Bloody hell, we had the two biggest nutters in the world as Prime Ministers from 1997 to 2010, bombing countries they took a dislike to and wrecking our economy, so we have an idea about lunatics.

On Saturday the English Defence League are planning a demonstration in Hyde, Greater  Manchester after two white youths were attacked by a gang of Asian youths. I don't know enough about the EDL to support or oppose them, what I do know is that we are supposed to live in a democracy where there is freedom of speech and expression, and that includes groups or individuals whose views we may find abhorrent. Not in Hyde it seems, where the council and the Greater Manchester Police, yet again, are doing everything they can to ban the demo.

Tameside council leader Kieran Quinn is quoted as saying:

"Hyde is a diverse and peaceful community and we don't welcome outsiders coming in whose only intention is to incite hatred. We are not against peaceful protest, but people need to understand this is about a hate-filled group wishing to come to Hyde to share that hate and try and incite hatred, and we will not support that regardless of what group that comes from."

I have to say I haven't seen the EDL close up but what I have seen on TV is that whenever the EDL demonstrate against Muslim extremism, which they claim is their purpose, the violence has invariably been caused by their opponents, the Unite Against Fascism rent-a-mob of assorted hate filled Trots, Marxists and Che Guevara lovers. I have seen UAF and Occupy close up, and both are pretty hate filled and potentiually violent.

Now if demos and marches are to be banned because some jumped up councillor doesn't like the sound of the group, then we are in deep doodies. Remember Quinn represents a party whose government was responsible for bombing the crap out of Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sierra Leone and God knows where else. I'd call the actions of Blair and Brown a darn sight more hateful than waving a placard in Hyde against Al Quaeda and their pals.

Then when demos and marches are banned as a threat to public order, as happens, I can't help thinking that the door is wide open for any group to cause violence when their oppponents are on the streets and hey presto, you get your opponents banned. It is only a small jump from that to imagine the state using agent provocateurs for the same purpose.

If a perfectly legal organisation, be that the EDL the Socialist Workers Party or any other group wants to march or demonstrate, it is up to the powers that be, whether that is jumped up councillors like Quinn or Greater Manchester Police, to do all they can to ensure they can do it safely. They should not try to ban them because they don't agree with them. This is not yet a totalitarian state.


Peter Metcalfe said...

'Hyde is a diverse and peaceful community'

Does that include when a group of aisan lads batter a couple of white lads.

I wonder how the investigation into this racist attack is going. ?

Gregg said...

Fair point Peter, I wonder too.

If the attack had been white youths against Asian youths there would have been any number of protests and demos allowed in Hyde.

Sean O'Hare said...

Good post Greg. Agreed with every word apart from the last sentence where you say This is not yet a totalitarian state It is you know!

Daz Pearce said...

Can't disagree with the 'what if' scenario outlined by Peter, but having seen the EDL in action on their day out in Preston back in 2010 it's worth stating they really are nothing more than a gang of hooligans/morons spoiling for a fight.

So of course are UAF, but then opposing groups like this need each other more than they'd ever admit.

Gregg, you're right to neither support nor oppose them because to do so would be to take them far more seriously than they deserve to be.

And why on earth give them the credibility that comes with being banned? When the bunch of half-witted inbreds go back to their trailer, at least let them have some stories for their fifteen kids!!