Open Letter to William and Catherine Windsor re: Precrime Arrests

5 May

Dear William and Catherine Windsor,

Congratulations on the wedding. How’s married life treating you? As per your instructions, in lieu of a gift, I will be making a donation to charity. I’ve chosen a legal aid charity. There’s some self-interest in that choice, but I’ll get to that later.

I don’t mean to put a dampener on things, but I would like to bring to your attention that on the day of your wedding (and even, in various incidents, the day before your wedding) the Metropolitan Police force arrested over a hundred people pre-emptively on the suspicion that they may, in the future, breach the peace.

People who had not broken any laws were detained at your grandmother’s/grandmother-in-law’s pleasure.

This is illegal, and constitutes an abuse of police powers.

These people were not a cohesive group and did not have cohesive aims. Some of them were protesting the cuts, some were republicans, some of them (myself included) did not have any stated aims at all, we just looked unconventional. All these people had in common was that the Metropolitan Police thought they looked like they may, in the future, breach the peace or cause a public nuisance.

When they were arrested some laughed – initially, some cried, some were fairly uninteresting in their behaviour, though they were dressed a bit funny. (That’s me in the bridesmaid’s dress – look, I made an effort!)

In this massive, sweeping abuse of police power people were arrested for possession of signs, possession of pens, and possession of their own credit cards.

If this sounds laughable that’s because it is – but it’s also deadly serious. The police are there to make the country safe for all the people they serve, not to silence the first sign of possible dissent. You, as heirs to the throne, are more than aware of the freedoms this country has fought for, and surely appreciate that this cannot continue unchecked.

On the day of your wedding, indeed for your wedding, it got nasty. Really nasty: retired anthropology professor Chris Knight was detained for 25 hours and his house and car were searched multiple times; pacifist protester Charlie Veitch was moved to an undisclosed location and denied his right to a phonecall or a lawyer; two transgender people were sexually assaulted by the police; at least two people were arrested on spurious grounds after filming others’ arrests, and more cases are coming to light as the days go on.

Whilst I’m not saying that these sweeping abuses were your fault, they were absolutely done in your name. We even have a policeman on video saying so in as many words 57 seconds in to this video here.

Therefore, I would be most grateful if you, the happy couple – and heirs to the throne – could let the Metropolitan Police know that you disapprove of these illegal and abusive actions.

Sincerely,

Hannah Eiseman-Renyard

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2 Responses to “Open Letter to William and Catherine Windsor re: Precrime Arrests”

  1. Rod Dixon May 5, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    With your permission – I’d like to put a link to this excellent blog on my own blog at http://www.redladder.co.uk Is that ok?
    Ta
    Rod

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