|Home Secretary, Theresa May|
Madison Ruppert, Contributing Writer
After the riots in London and throughout the UK I was quick to report on the full spectrum push against democracy and freedom from all sectors of the British government, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
It started with calls to shut down social media in times of government-declared emergency and even resulted in the imprisonment of two young men for four years because they failed to incite a riot on Facebook.
These moves seem tame to what has now emerged in Britain: a blanket ban on all demonstrations, marches, protests and other gatherings in several areas of London for a whopping 30 days starting September 2nd.
The moratorium was declared after a request was placed by acting Commissioner of the Scotland Yard, Tim Godwin, amongst fears that more violence would be caused if protests were allowed to continue.
Theresa May attempted to justify this undemocratic ban on protests by saying that, “Having carefully considered the legal tests in the Public Order Act and balanced rights to protest against the need to ensure local communities and property are protected, I have given my consent to a ban on all marches in Tower Hamlets and four neighbouring boroughs for a 30-day period”.
This effectively blocked the plan for an English Defense League rally in the capitol, along with opposing anti-racist rallies organized by the British chapter of Unite Against Fascism and United East End.
However, the groups Unite Against Fascism and United East End plan to move forward with the anti-Fascist march on September 3rd regardless of the moratorium.
In a statement the groups declared that, “We the undersigned welcome the banning of the racist English Defence League’s (EDL) march through Tower Hamlets.
However, we believe the headlines claiming the EDL have been “banned” from Tower Hamlets are misleading. The EDL will still be holding a static protest in the borough.
We are also appalled to discover that the Metropolitan Police are applying for a blanket ban on ALL marches across five London boroughs: Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest; and the City of London for 30 days”, said the statement.
This is a huge attack on everyone’s civil liberties and prevents people’s right to oppose racism.
We have the democratic right to peacefully march through Tower Hamlets on 3 September to show unity of Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Hindu, Black, Asian, LGBT communities, trade unions and all those against fascism and for freedom, and to voice opposition to the EDL’s attempts to divide us.
Our legal advice says there is no law that says if one march has been banned all marches in that area must be banned.
It is our human right to peacefully march in Tower Hamlets.
I just hope that the UAF and UEE will not be met with violence at the hands of police forces that support the anti-democratic fascistic declaration.
Interestingly, the ban is also serendipitously timed to prevent the protest against the massive arms trade exposition on September 13th.
The protest is one of London’s largest and is in opposition to the world’s largest arms fair called the Defense and Security Equipment International that operates from September 13th to 16th in the ExCeL Center in East London.
The now banned protest, dubbed “Disarm DSEi” would be protesting the arms exhibition which showcases more than 1,200 companies to over 25,000 buyers from around the world, which includes representatives of dictatorships and other regimes guilty of human rights abuses.
Another protest blocked under the government ban would be the October 1st protest called “Europe Against Austerity” which involves trade unions and other social organizations who were planning to stage a demonstration at the European Conference Against Austerity and Privatization.
It is quite sad to see the UK slowly descend into a police state styled after the oppressive American regime we currently find ourselves oppressed by.