Sunday, October 29, 2006

Police Ask for Protest Powers

This blog and many others have complained that police do nothing to stop the disgraceful "protests" carried out by radical Islamists. Today the BBC reports that police chiefs are urging the government to give them more powers to deal with these events.

The extra powers include making it illegal to burn flags. They also want to be able to impose conditions on rallies to prevent people covering their faces (thought not Muslim women) and to censor banners.

Truth be told, the extra powers are not needed. Evidence from many other cases indicate that police are able to deal with such things if they want. For example, when people rallied on Sunday with banners proclaiming "We are all Hezbollah" the police could have stopped it under the glorification of terror clause. An anti-gay protester was arrested for handing out leaflets with Biblical scriptures on it.

This news is only good if it indicates a willingness by the police to deal with these people. If they still refuse to take action having powers will not help.

UPDATE: Human Rights groups aren't happy about preventing people from burning the symbol of a nation. Liberty couldn't bring themselves to lie flat out and declare flag burning as an acceptable act so they settled for opposing the plans on the basis that they were unnecessary.

However, the Islamic Human Rights Commission were prepared to. They are paraphrased by the BBC:

But Massoud Shedjareh, of the Islamic Human Rights' Commission, said whether it was incitement or not depended on the circumstances, but police already had powers to deal with it.
If anyone knows when burning a country's flag does not indicate the wish to destroy that country and its inhabitants, please let us know.