Tuesday, 14 April 2009
The Independent: Mass arrests have no place in a democratic country
There are times, and they seem to be growing more frequent, when the civil liberties we still associate with life in Britain suddenly start to look dangerously fragile. Yesterday was one such occasion. We woke up to the news that 114 people had been arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and criminal damage. This deserves to be spelled out. More than 100 people were arrested in the Sneinton Dale area of Nottingham not for committing an offence, but for allegedly planning to do so. In other words, they were arrested pre-emptively.
Comment from Medialens
There is certainly a "political" message being put out here in a theatrical and sinister manner by the police. It is obvious to all except the politically blind, mass media and right wing consensus that the police authorities are again indulging in political activities which restricts the right to protest. They have always done so, the state and police have always regarded anyone left of centre as a threat and enemy.
Thus the illegal imprisonment of the entire executive of the communist party during the 1926 general strike, no charges were ever bought, they were just arrested on mass and locked up, its a wonder they were not put in the Tower. Such occurences happened quite often, the Daily Worker was banned for a time as being "seditious". The TUC headquarters was bugged, MI5 agents proliferate within the trade union movement and no doubt within the environmental groups there are secret police spies.
Do not ever believe that we live in a free country and democracy, it is only as free and as democratic as the ruling class allow it to be. During the present economic and social crisis the rules governing us will tighten. The positive aspect is that as yet they do not control the internet and enlightened commentators in the press are realising the danger.