Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Terrorists or Protesters?

114 environmental activists were arrested and charged with "conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and criminal damage." Police officers raided a school where they were meeting, seizing "specialist equipment". After the protesters were placed in custody, the police went to their homes to seize computer equipment and mobile phone records.

I don't personally support direct criminal action, yet since these protesters were 'pre-emptively arrested', I don't know what form their protest would have taken. The police do have a duty to act when they think lives are threatened, I don't dispute that. I do question however, whether they know the different between a terrorist and protester.

They used intelligence gathering from informants and/or email spying to send, 200 police officers from 3 forces storming into a school, to arrest a group of protesters. Who at their worst, were gong to chain themselves to conveyor belts, do a sit down protest within the grounds or do nothing.

Over the top and heavy-handed springs to mind, which hardly fills anyone with confidence in light of recent events. Yet a sense of uneasy fills me to, as the question of what has triggered this crack down hangs in the air. I do wonder if this plays a part in an answer.

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