Know your rights, for there is something going terribly wrong in the UK at the moment.
The Police have been arresting people on suspicion they may be about to commit a crime. It’s a bit like Minority Reportbut without the psychics.
In the UK you can be arrested if the Police:
have reasonable grounds for suspecting you are about to commit certain offences
In other words, if they think you’re up to something naughty, you’ll get done: or, ‘We’re all criminals now, and it’s only a matter of time before we’re all nicked.’
This was what happened to ex-professor of anthropology Chris Knight last week, when he (and two others) were arrested on suspicion of causing a possible nuisance. The nuisance was a piece of street theater, London, where Knight and others planned to re-enact the beheadings of Royalty.
It is also what happened to Charlie Veitch, a former city banker who was arrested last week on “suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance.”
The connection between Knight and Veitch was the Royal Wedding, which allowed the Police to arrest anyone they thought might be planning, or, thinking of causing an offense.
But Knight and Veitch were only two of the 70 people arrested in pre-emptive raids of suspected protestors prior to and on the day of the Royal Wedding.
Nearly 100 people were barred from entering Westminster on the day of the wedding.
Now this is where it gets surreal: one demonstrator was arrested for singing ‘We all live in a fascist regime,’ to the tune of “Yellow Submarine”, as the Guardian reported:
About a dozen policemen grabbed the singer, sparking a clash with his colleagues, changing the mood of a small and peaceful gathering as he was handcuffed and bundled away. “He had articles on him to cause criminal damage,” explained Chief Inspector John Dale, to loud protests.
“You just incited a peaceful situation into violence,” shouted a bystander.
Police said they made a total of 52 arrests, which included 13 at Charing Cross railway station, where people were found to have “climbing equipment and anti-monarchy placards”. There was also 21 arrests made during raids of five squats in London on Thursday morning.
Officers also swooped on five people, three of whom were wearing zombie make-up, when they entered a branch of Starbucks on Oxford Street. They were arrested “on suspicion of planning a breach of the peace”.
They were all handcuffed and held in a police van and gave their names as Amy Cutler, 25, Rachel Young, 27, Eric Schultz, 43, Hannah Eisenman-Renyard, and Deborah, 19, an anthropology student at the University of East London.
“We’ve been pre-emptively arrested under suspicion of planning a breach of the peace,” Cutler told the Guardian from the police van. “We went to Starbucks to get a coffee and the police followed us in.”
“We were just dressing up as zombies,” said Amy, who was wearing a “marry me instead” T-shirt. “It is nice to dress up as zombies.”
While the right to peaceful demonstration in the UK is not absolute, it is “a vital part of a democratic society and has a very long and respected tradition in the United Kingdom.” Now with recent legislation brought in to deal with a range of threats, from terrorism to anti-social behavior, there is the a very real possibility that this “respected tradition” is being slowly taken from the British people.
Below Charlie Veitch‘s arrest and interview on ITV News, plus, 3 zombies, who were arrested, tell their story.
More from Charlie Veitch, plus interview with the arrested zombies, after the jump…