The British Monarchy
Metropolitan Police Declare Day of Joy
“To my family it was like I had been disappeared” said Charlie Veitch. But this was not China. It was Cambridge, England. And the threat was not to the rule of the Chinese Communist Party but to a public relations stunt by the Windsor clan. On the eve of the Windsor/Middleton wedding spectacle, according to the Guardian newspaper, stunt film maker Veitch was arrested by Cambridge police.
He had notified the Metropolitan police that he would be protesting against monarchy in London the next day. For that he was held for 16 hours in “a box-like cell” in Cambridge before being taken by the Metropolitan Police to Edmonton police station in London. No friend or family member was told of his detention.
Mr. Veitch was arrested on a charge of “conspiracy to cause a public nuisance”. In a democracy it is the job of the police to protect the exercise of free speech. But in the kingdom free speech is considered a public nuisance.
Veitch was not the only one to be arrested on this charge in a determined effort to prevent free speech by republicans. Chris Knight intended to take part in the beheading of an effigy of Andrew Windsor as an act of street theatre. But the night before he was detained by police near his home in south London, together with his partner and a friend. Others who tried to continue with the street theatre were picked up at the scene by plain clothes police.
“Precrime” Not a Fantasy in Feudal Fairyland
According to the Guardian close to 24 people were arrested the day before the spectacle and 55 more were arrested on the Friday of the wedding, not all “in relation to republican activity”. The newspaper reported that republicans had been held for up to 24 hours. Mr. Veitch described his experience at the hands of British police as arrest for a “pre-crime, as in the Minority Report movie.
“Democracy not Monarchy” Cause for Arrest
Adam Moniz, who is not a member of any political group and who had never been arrested before, was held by the police for 6 hours. He was on his way to a street party organised by the Republic group with a rolled-up “Democracy not Monarchy” banner. Apparently advocating democracy is still considered subversive in the United Kingdom.
Thought Police Enforce Joy
The police had warned earlier that free speech would be denied to republicans. In a blatant expression of political partiality Metropolitan Police Commander Christine Jones declared to the news media “Let us make it absolutely clear - this is a day of celebration, joy and pageantry. It is a fantastic day for Britain. Any criminals attempting to disrupt it”, she went on, “be that in the guise of protest or otherwise, will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response."
It seems that the police decided that the only way to enforce joy on some unwilling citizens was to lock them in a cell.
The police tactics fit into a systematic pattern of discrimination against republicans. In another example of free speech suppression the Electoral Commission refuses to register political parties with names that are critical of the Windsor clan.