Kettled in Brighton

inside the kettle

inside the kettle

Easter bunnies against Fascists

Easter bunnies against Fascists

English Defence League demo

English Defence League demo

I do not expect to arrive off a train in Brighton to find myself detained on the street in a police kettle! But that is what happened today.

I got off the train from Victoria a little after midday. Something was up. Police everywhere.

Before I knew it, I was held in a police kettle.

We can not let you leave, you are part of an assembly. No I am not, I said, I am walking down the road, or at least I was until I was held against my will on the street.

The officer pointed to the pink slip in my hand which I had been handed moments before as justification for my being detained. The pink slip informed me off my legal rights. Thus having a pink slip informing me of my legal rights if held on the street is justification for holding me on the street! If this is not political policing I do not know what is.

To be fair to the police, they were not heavy handed or aggressive, and they did have a problem of keeping apart two opposing demonstrations, and they did say once the other lot moved off, I could leave.

I was asked if I was press. Had I said yes, maybe I would have been allowed to leave, but I was honest and said no.

It was then announced everyone was being escorted to Victoria Gardens. Not having any wish to be escorted to Victoria Gardens, not even knowing where it was, I again tried to leave. This time I was stopped by a young inexperienced officer who did not appear to have two brain cells to rub together. He refused to let me leave on the grounds I should have left earlier!

I would have raised the matter with whoever was the senior officer in charge, but I spied a gap in the police lines, and so quickly exited.

I then walked to nearby Grocer and Grain. Outside in the side street, six police vans, including one parked on the corner on the double yellow lines.

I left Grocer and Grain about an hour later to continue on down to the sea front only this time I encountered the opposing demo, a bunch of moronic chanting thugs, otherwise known as the English Defence League.

Repugnant as they may be, English Defence League has the right to protest, to march. It does not though mean we have to listen. Let them march, let everyone see what an obnoxious bunch of clowns they are.

The counter-demo was naive to the point of stupidity. It was to inflate the importance of the EDL to a degree they neither deserve nor merit.

I thought kettles were now illegal and could only be used in extreme circumstances. This clearly has not yet filtered down to the Boys in Blue in Brighton.

Kettled in Brighton
Police warn Brighton and Hove protestors to behave at march
Police pleased with Brighton protest operation
EDL outnumbered in Brighton
Nationalist march will return to Brighton

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One Response to “Kettled in Brighton”

  1. Sandy Says:

    a) Fascists are impeding on select others’ right to free speech, so it is rather a paradox whether they should be entitled to their free speech, both sides of the debate have important points. Can you tolerate intolerance? Or is it the only thing that cannot be tolerated?

    b) The argument that the counter-protest was needless and stupid because everyone could see what thugs the EDL (/MfE) were is ridiculous; we need to show people that this is not OK, and that people are standing against it. Ignoring the issue in this case will not make it go away. If, for example, a tourist (or even a citizen) encountered a protest such as this, and no counter protest, they will assume that all of England implicitly agrees, or at least doesn’t care enough to stop it. Therefore the counter protest was useful and needed, and there was contention amongst the protesters whether the aim was to stop the other march, or just to be a visible presence of anti-fascists.

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