July 20, 2024

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Police arrest anti-monarchy protesters at royal events in England, Scotland

Police arrest anti-monarchy protesters at royal events in England, Scotland

LONDON – Lawyers and free speech activists are sounding alarm bells after reports in recent days of police detaining, moving and, in some cases, arresting protesters at events marking the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Her eldest son Charles.

The police caught people screaming Against the crown, members of the royal family marched in front of them and carried anti-royal banners – and in one case, white paper. Police crackdowns on such protests have raised questions about freedom of expression during this fraught UK period.

On Twitter, hashtag “NotMyKing” – after the logo featured on A protester’s sign Who was taken away by police in London in a video on Monday – he was heading early Tuesday. Lawmakers have called on authorities to respect the rights of those who believe the queen’s death should herald the end of the monarchy.

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“No one should be arrested for expressing Republican views,” Sultana’s Ministry said, a member of the opposition Labor Party represents Coventry South in Parliament. “It’s unusual – and shocking – that this needs to be said.”

Reports of the arrests first emerged on Sunday, when a document officially proclaiming Charles king was read aloud at locations across the UK. In Oxford, Simon Hill, 45, was arrested after shouting: “Who elected him?” The gospel was also read. In a blog describing the incident, Hill claimed the police You tied him up and didn’t tell him What he was arrested for.

The Thames Valley Police British media confirmed that a 45-year-old had been arrested in connection with the disturbance that occurred during the boycott ceremony for King Charles III in Oxford. She said a man was later “arrested” and was cooperating with the police as they were “investigating a public order offense” – although Hill wrote on Twitter that he had not. working with the police since his initial arrest.

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In the UK, arrest is akin to detention in the US, regardless of the individuals accused It doesn’t end up being before a judge.

In Edinburgh, a 22-year-old woman was arrested outside St Giles’ Cathedral, where the Queen was lying at the start of the week, for breaking the peace. She was photographed holding a sign showing a more vulgar version of the slogan, “Down with imperialism.”

The woman was later charged under a section of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 prohibiting ‘threatening or abusive’ behaviour, which is An advocacy group working for her in the current situation.

Incidents like this highlight the gaps in the legal rights of protesters in the UK, Clive Stafford Smith, a civil rights lawyer and British national, told the Washington Post.

“Despite all the complacent propaganda that this country is a country of free speech, the British don’t really have freedom of speech the way Americans do,” he said.

In Britain, the Crime of Treason Act 1848 is an offense for anyone who commits acts intended to deprive British sovereignty of the “royal name of the Imperial Crown”. Stafford Smith said the law is not enforced today, but it “is still on the books.” Some of the police officers who have cracked down on protesters in recent days may be enforcing the 1986 Public Order Act – “an incredibly vague law that says anything that can stir up public disorder is left to the police authority to decide whether to arrest”. added.

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The latest Police, Crime, Judgments and Courts Act of 2022 has been heavily criticized for it Restrictions on protestsAlthough it is not clear whether any of the demonstrators have been charged under this law, like most of its provisions Not applicable to Scotland.

Activist and lawyer Paul Paulsland said on Monday he was in Parliament Square in London and “carried up a white paper” when a police officer asked him for his information. Apparently the officer said “If I write ‘not mine’ on it, he will arrest me under the Public Order Act because someone might be offended” Bowlesland wrote in a tweet.

A short clip of their interaction went viral on social media, prompting Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Stuart Conde to say in a statement on Monday, “We have been making [the public’s right to protest] It is clear to all officers involved in the extraordinary police operation currently underway and we will continue to do so.”

Incidents like this have been few and far between as millions of people across the country gather for various events during the 10-day period of mourning to announce the Queen’s death. “The vast majority of interactions between officers and the public at this time has been positive as people came to the capital to mourn the loss of Her late Majesty,” Conde said.

However, some on social media have pointed to another form of censorship of anti-proprietary views – one that relies on peer pressure.

in Blog postHill, the Oxford protester, said that when he shouted, “Who elected him?” Amid the crowd, “two or three people near me told me to shut up.” And in Edinburgh when he was 22 years old Prince Andrew boycotted As the procession carrying the Queen’s coffin was walking down the Royal Mile, videos surfaced showing the protester Push wildly to the ground and push by two men in the crowd before being dragged away by the police.

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A Police Scotland spokesperson told the Washington Post via email that a 22-year-old had been arrested and then “released on a pledge to appear in the Edinburgh Sheriff’s Court at a later time”.

“Detaining people for chanting Republican slogans, even if they did so in a crude and provocative way, is wholly un-British,” said Daniel Hanan, a member of the House of Lords. “I’m afraid our police will become more authoritarian – and worse – a section of the public will cheer them on.”

“The right to dissent is never more important than in times of patriotic fervor,” George Monbiota British writer and activist, wrote Tuesday on Twitter.