After the incident in Luton, a Conservative MP has asked for a ban on political protests directed at soldiers. It is a commendable idea, but the whole idea of protest needs to be readdressed. Yes, in a country where you have freedom of speech, you have a right to say what’s on your mind. But, some people take this ideal a bit too far. Therefore, someone needs to stand up and decide that there is a limit to what is acceptable and what is not.
In schools, children are educated on the effects of bullying and taught to be tolerant. However, we know bullying still exists. Yet, there are rules in place so that those bullies are dealt with in an appropriate manner. Why is this concept not extended into adulthood? Why can anyone incite anger and hatred in the name of freedom of speech? Isn’t the whole idea supposed to be that you can live your life as you like, as long as you do not infringe upon anyone else’s life.
There really is no such thing as a peaceful protest, unless it is a silent one. The whole definition of a protest implies some agitation. If there are rules against protesting outside religious institutions, out of fear that it incites hatred or prejudice or discrimination, why is that rule not extended to all other aspects of life? After all, discrimination does not occur just in religion.
(For anyone to put the blame on what happened in Iraq on the soldiers’ shoulders is ridiculous. Those who believe thus, such as Abu Omar, should get a real education. Most soldiers join up in peace-time, so they do not decide where they are sent.)
But let’s take it even further. It seems that since people can’t take out their anger on the Muslims and other minorities that can be construed as discrimination, they decide to take it out on another group that appears more acceptable to attack. And that is the BNP. Imagine someone actually took a hammer out and attacked another human being just for his political beliefs. This protest was extremely violent as evidenced by the amount of damage that was inflicted. The BNP was trying to hold a campaign event. Imagine if some Labour party members attacked the Tories. Would that be acceptable?
The BNP is a legitimate political party, yet they are not socially acceptable. Their views are too right-wing for the PC public to accept. In fact, they are accused of being racist. Now, unlike the KKK, I have not heard of the BNP encouraging hatred or discrimination of any one group, nor have they incited any violence towards others. They are working to promote the welfare of the native Brits. Those native Brits who are against these ideals are probably the ones too well-off to notice the plight of those who are not.
It seems people choose to purposefully misinterpret another person’s statements, which is how all this misunderstanding occurs. Perhaps, others will accuse me of a similar offence in expressing my views of the above. For the record, let me say that I am not a BNP member, but I can understand why they feel the way they do. Neither am I anti-Muslim. Nevertheless, I am anti-protest. I believe and encourage people to think for themselves, and if an issue is of paramount importance to them, they should work towards rectifying any problems they see needs to be addressed. However, this needs to be done in a civilised manner. Find the right person to talk to and discuss the issues and work towards a solution. Protests are not peaceful, even with the best intentions, if the issue is contentious or sensitive. You can be standing there, silently holding a placard, but if that placard in any way incites anger or hatred, there will be consequences. So, protesters should never claim they were peacefully demonstrating. That is a pretence at blissful ignorance.
So, I say that all public protests should be banned. No, don’t misunderstand me. I am not taking away freedom of speech; I am trying to ensure that one person’s freedom of speech will not infringe upon another’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That includes the protester’s. Sometimes, you have to protect people from themselves. Dissention and disagreements are not evil, it is the manner in which it is presented that can lead to evil. Of all the politically correct notions out there, why can’t there be one for peace and politeness?