Sunday, March 26, 2006

Andrew Medworth's Trafalgar Free Speech Report

Andrew Medworth has a detailed report from the Trafalgar Square Freedom of Expression rally. He only reports one person showing the cartoons, though the IBA coverage (see these two posts of mine 1, 2) seems to show others. I was also worried by this passage in the BBC article to which Andrew links:
Police said there had been no arrests but officers did receive a complaint about the message on one protester's placard.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said officers spoke to the man and he was later allowed to rejoin the demonstration.

"The complainant stated they felt threatened by a placard they believed depicted the Prophet Muhammad," she said.
It's of course great that the protestor was allowed to return to the rally, but it troubles me to no end that a complaint of "feeling threatened" by a cartoon could even be grounds for questioning someone. If feelings become the standard by which police act, then law is completely arbitrary and no one can ever be free...

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