Friday, April 07, 2006

Facing jail for a tea party

Another example of the suppression of freedom of speech in the UK: a peace activist is facing jail for having a tea party in Parliament Square. The tea party was held as a regular protest against a law which criminalises any form of protest within 1 kilometer of the British Parliament - and so of course he was arrested and convicted. He has refused to pay the fine, and is now facing prison.

In a democracy, the freedom to protest is paramount. But what sort of a "democracy" is it where you are not allowed to take your protest to the very heart of the democratic system - to Parliament? And exactly what sort of "freedom" is Tony Blair defending if you cannot have a quiet picnic in a public space without being arrested as a "security threat"?

Again, the Blair government has become a serious threat to the ordinary everyday freedom of its citizens. And you really have to wonder where it is going - and what will be left over once Blair has finished "defending" freedom.