Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Protest While You Can

Alarming news from El Reg about a teenager being issued a court summons for displaying the not exactly controversial statement: "Scientology is not a religion, it is a dangerous cult."

Alarming because this happened in the City of London earlier this month.

The City of London Police read the protestor Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and removed his placard before issuing him with the summons. The Act makes it an offence to display "any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting, within the hearing or sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress thereby".

In response, the teenager quoted back a High Court judgement from 1984. Justice Latey repeatedly said in a family division case that Scientology was a "cult" - one that was "immoral", "socially obnoxious", "corrupt", "sinister" and "dangerous".

The City of London Scientology building opened in 2006. The financial district's police force was heavily criticised at the time for their apparent endorsement of the sect. Kevin Hurley, the force's Chief Superintendent praised its work for bringing "positive good" at the opening of the multimillion-pound site, and it later emerged that officers had accepted hospitality from Scientology, including tickets to film premieres, lunches and concerts at police premises. The organisation also made donations of thousands of pounds to the City of London Children's Charity

Which kinda makes you question the City of London Police's motives in this specific case, doesn't it? As I'm fairly sure we have the right to peaceful protest - unless you're near Parliament - unless I missed the meeting where that was removed from us as well.

I am the Revolution, and I want my fucking country back.

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Anonymous James Marwood said...

When something as sinister as Scientology joins up with our ever more authoritarian thought police it is time to be very concerned.


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