Brian Eno “This ban will not stop us” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2184946,00.html
“Stop the War Coalition”が計画したデモが警察当局によって不許可になったことについて；
Stop the War Coalition planned a march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square on Monday - the day parliament resumes - to draw attention to the fact that a lot of us are still thinking about Iraq and to call for the immediate withdrawal of troops. Using an archaic law (the 1839 Metropolitan Police Act), that demonstration has now been banned. Now why would that be? Stop the War Coalition has organised dozens of such demonstrations, and as far as I know not one person has been hurt. So it can't be public safety that's at stake.
Civil liberties never seem important until you need them. But by definition, that is the very time you won't be able to get them, so they have to be in place in advance, like an insurance policy. In his book Defying Hitler, the historian Sebastian Hafner describes how Germany slid into nazism. At first people laughed at Hitler and played along with what seemed trivial changes in the law. For most Germans it was all rather abstract, and they were expecting things to return to normal when Hitler faded back into obscurity. Only he didn't, and civil liberties were so compromised there was no way to stop him.
Posters rewritten as march to parliament gets late go-ahead
Tuesday October 9, 2007
When thousands of anti-war campaigners were given the 11th hour go-ahead to march from Whitehall to Westminster yesterday it was a triumph for democratic protest - but a blow for poster design.
"We'd better change our placards," said Pat Sherrin, a 58-year-old housing worker, as the news filtered through the crowd in Trafalgar Square yesterday just half an hour before the rally was due to begin. Out came a Biro to squeeze the word "almost" into her slogan: "The Brown junta has banned this demonstration."
But Ms Sherrin and her friends from the Wandsworth and Lambeth branches of Stop the War said they didn't mind making the artistic sacrifice. After all, the overturning by the authorities of the ban - which invoked a 19th century law against the Chartist protest movement - showed that the protesters had won the battle.
Police estimated the number of protesters at around 2,000, while organisers said it was at least double that. The throng disrupted traffic outside parliament just as the prime minister was due to arrive in the Commons to tell MPs about the latest phase of British troop withdrawal from Iraq. Gordon Brown was driven along adjoining roads to Whitehall to avoid being caught up in the demonstration.
Several MPs took part in the rally, including Tony Benn and George Galloway, the Respect MP currently banned from the Commons after clashing with the Speaker. "Gordon Brown might think that Basra is a photo-opportunity but we know it is a graveyard for millions of innocent Iraqi civilians, whose lives are being ruined by the criminal activity of the British parliament," shouted Mr Galloway.
The comedian Mark Thomas gave a short speech. Had the ban not been revoked, he would have been the only activist legally allowed to protest. The Metropolitan police said yesterday he had applied in advance to protest as an individual. Yesterday he was joined by students, trade unionists, war veterans - and a ferret called Mike. Mike's owner, Jim Lawrie, 51, said: "We're both anti-war because we both like people."
Lindsey German, convener of the Stop The War Coalition, said the group had been told time and again by police in recent days that they could not go ahead with the march, and she claimed the authorities and MPs had underestimated the determination of the anti-war movement.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said police had been in discussion with the event's organisers for some time and used their "best endeavours" to make sure the march could be held.
• The following clarification was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Wednesday October 10 2007. An article about the anti-war march from Whitehall to Westminster on Monday said that several MPs took part, including Tony Benn. Tony Benn is no longer an MP; he retired in 2001.
The Iraq adventure was justified as the planting of a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. Not only did it utterly fail at that, it also undermined our democracy. Appealing to our paranoia more than our vision, George Bush and Tony Blair obtained restrictions on freedoms that had taken centuries to evolve. They said these were necessary to ensure our security - a device used by authoritarian leaders since time immemorial.