I really must protest...

...about our right to protest.



9/13/20221 min read

.I really must protest about my right to protest. It would seem that it is very much under threat in the country of my birth. Whether I approve of the monarchy in Britain or otherwise; whether I care about climate change or couldn't give a damn; or even whether I just wish to protest about my right to protest, I should be free to state my point of view. Freedom of expression is my human right. It is perhaps more shocking to someone of my age to see our human rights under threat when we have grown up in a world that believed it had thrown off the spectre of fascism. And yet today, as Britain welcomes a new King, I read of people who have indulged in low key demonstrations against the monarchy, being arrested and even handcuffed and prosecuted. It is no mere coincidence that the recent Police ,Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Act(PCSC) has given Police the confidence to exert undue authority over people's right to protest.

In France it feels as if we are pulling in the opposite direction. I confess that in recent months I have felt irritated by people whose disruptive protests happen all too often, as has occurred with the recent 'Gilet Jaunes ' movement. One has to smile ruefully when the people who protest against the raising of fuel taxes are often the very same ones who protest against speed controls by smashing speed cameras. As we know, by controlling our speed we not only reduce road deaths, but also our fuel consumption.And yet...and yet. When democracy seems very much under threat we must value free speech above all. We must fight to safeguard the right to protest, be it in France, Britain, or anywhere else. We must fight tooth and nail if need be.