Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Challenging royalism in the UK

Its the foreign monarch's nominal birthday on Monday, and in the UK they're gearing up for a great patriotic wank to celebrate the current incumbent's 60 years as a royal parasite. Meanwhile, in the courts, they're still cleaning up after the last one.

Before last year's royal wedding, British police rounded up scores of activists and detained them without charge, in order to prevent any protests which might remind people that not everyone in the UK agrees with the monarchy. Twenty of them have now gone to court to challenge the legality of that detention:

The case related to "the most important of constitutional rights, namely the rights to free expression and to protest, both of which are elemental to a properly functioning democracy", Monaghan told the court.

In policing the royal wedding, the Met "operated a policy of equating intention to protest, whether perceived or actual, with intention to cause unlawful disruption".

The commissioner had "adopted an impermissibly low threshold of tolerance for public protest, resulting in the unlawful arrests of those who were viewed by officers as being likely to express anti-monarchist views".

The threshold was so low as to amount to the suppression of anti-monarchist sentiment.

Sadly, a ruling will come too late for this weekend (how convenient for the British establishment). But it will hopefully prevent such abuses in the future.