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Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Blockupation ...

The last few days have seen a tough battle through the German courts over plans by a Left-wing Group of protesters calling themselves "Blockupy" to occupy and blockade the European Central Bank and the financial centre of Frankfurt-am-Main. The city government brought the case against the protest movement on behalf of the citizens and small businesses of the city, and the court has, generally, accepted the arguments presented to them.

Among other things it has raised the issue of the protests against the "banks" being used to mask criminal activity. It has been arged that in these protests the organisers are unable to gurantee that there will not be an element of anarchists bent only on causing injury and damage. This was, in fact, supported this morning when the police moved in to clear an "occupy" camp - and the protesters had filled inflatable swimming pools with paint which they then used to splash all over the occupied space and the police. Under the law, throwing it at anyone or the police constitutes "common assault" so there should be some interesting charges brought there. Then there is the damage they've done to the property they occupied - criminal damage charges anyone?

The courts accept that there is a right to protest and to hold demonstrations. So do the city and the blockaded bankers, what no one except the protesters accepts, is that this confers upon protesters the right to damage property, intimidate workers, or prevenet access to premises on lawful business. Sensibly, the courts have ruled the protesters may hold demonstrations, but they may not engage in blockades, occupations or any form of intimidation or denial of lawful rights of those who are not in agreement with their ideology.

I suspect this may show a start of a change of attitude to the belief among the demonstrating mobs that "anything goes" in making their point. I, for one, will not hesitate to bring charges of assault against any twerp who blows a whistle loudly close to my ears. That is "common assault" - and there is case law to support me!

Demonstrators do have the right to make a protest. They do NOT have a right to deny me or anyone else the lawful access to my employment, any shop or premises I may have occasion to access in the exercise of my rights and privileges as a member of society. And they most definitely do not have a right to smash, deface, remove or destroy any property belonging to anyone else in the course of their protest.

2 comments:

  1. There is something here I've always been very clear about locally (outside of London specifically) to those who go out and protest in the centre of town:

    Don't block premises!! Use humour, entertainment (theatre, music, song and dance), normal vocabulary, simple persuasion.

    It was made very clear one day, as a higher ranking police officer came up and made threatening noise,s that if protesters here started, "crossing the threshold," of premises, the local policing would change. In his words, "We'll start following you from your home, to your workplace, to your family and friends homes."

    The law is the law. Elements of society are shown frequently to be unable to operate within it, but those who claim to be activists for the good of the nation MUST operate within it. There is some "bending" of it from time to time out of necessity, but breaking it? Mustn't happen on any account. To do so risks losing the democratic rights we are apportioned, the very rights being fought for.

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  2. This seems to be a trademark of those demonstrating from the left hand side of the political spectrum everywhere they rear their pseudo-revolutionary heads.

    Look at the Occupy Wall Street "movement" here in New York: Property defaced, filthy leavings after their sites were cleared by the police... In the meantime, these same individuals revel in giving the police a hard enough time that manpower must be used to forcibly remove them via arrest.

    Realistically, this detracts law enforcement personnel from their normal work, that of attempting to protect the public from criminal predators.

    At demonstrations throughout the U.S. it's the same thing; The conservative side always cleans up after itself, the "progressive" side always trashes everything it can. Innocent, completely uninvolved businesspersons and property owners end up having to bear the expense and time consummation of cleaning up/ effecting repairs in their wake.

    A good friend who lived in San Francisco when George W. Bush sent troops into Iraq after Saddam Hussein has described to me the "sit-ins" the lefties perpetrated there: Blocking intersections so densely that emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances could not get through, leaving them to have to reroute to longer (therefore longer response times) trips to get to their destinations.

    This strikes me as being neither remotely responsible nor demonstrative of even an iota of real concern for the lives and wellbeing of fellow human beings, about whom they falsely purport to care.

    I had to chuckle when my friend (jokingly, I hope!) suggested that the city government of San Francisco should have called Beijing and asked to consult with whoever had been in charge at Tienenmen Square...

    Basically, I think most of these "protesters" are simply destructive hooligans who actually have very little knowledge on the issues over which they demonstrate and are more concerned with taking the opportunity to disturb the peace, vandalize and generally attempt to get away with entirely unacceptable behavior.

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