Demonstrators gather outside a branch of Starbucks before the start
of an anti-austerity protest march through central London.
Photograph © Matt Dunham/AP.
Retrieved from The Guardian (20 October 2012).
What is wrong with this picture? Well, for starters, these folks might well be violating the law if they chose to demonstrate not in the UK but here in the 'land of the free.' Take NYC, for instance
, where - as protesters outside the Russian consulate last summer discovered - it is illegal for more than three persons to wear masks simultaneously at public demonstrations. So, actually, there is nothing wrong with the picture. There is something wrong with the laws.
I have been preoccupied lately [1
] with restrictions on the constitutional right to assemble in public. It is astonishing to see the lengths to which authorities have constrained the space of politics. In this we are in good company - with Russia, for instance
- where the laws are similarly enlightened. But if The New York Times
can refer to "Russia's Chilling Anti-Protest Laws," shouldn't we be taking a good look in the mirror?
P.S.: As an aside, according to this report in The Guardian, two of the members of Pussy Riot who's arrest triggered the NYC protests in the first place have been banished to remote prison camps   . You,ll recall that the the women of Pussy Riot themselves wore masks during the initial "hooliganism" that has set off this entire chain of political and legal events.
Labels: Constitution, Legal, OWS, politics, protests, Public Space, Pussy Riot