Friday, 23 May 2008

In Passing

Decision marks a “victory?”

Glenn Reynolds: a victory for free speech, British prosecutors have dropped the “cult” prosecution, saying that it doesn’t make out a crime.
It’s not that much of a “victory” when the net result is that you need some bureaucrat’s opinion before you can be sure that telling the truth is allowable.  Despite the sensible outcome, the fact remains that the police response defaulted to supression,[1] and the speaker involved had to begin to prepare a defense.  Both should remain a concern for any friend of liberty.

The Guardian:
Background (BBC online):

[1] From the BBC:
A spokeswoman for City of London Police said they had received complaints about the use of the words “cult” and “scientology kills” and warned protestors their signs breached the Public Order Act.

Chief Supt Rob Bastable said: “City of London Police upholds the right to demonstrate lawfully, but we have to balance that with the right of all sections of community not to be alarmed, harassed or distressed as a result of other people's behaviour.”

Posted by: Old Grouch in In Passing at 16:38:12 GMT | No Comments | Add Comment
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