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Letter to Nicola Blackwood MP on Theresa May’s comments about Anti-Cuts protestors

The following is a copy of the letter I sent to my MP (Nicola Blackwood, CON, Oxford West and Abingdon) regarding the comments in parliament made by Theresa May with regard to the anti-cuts protests in London on 2011-03-26.

Dear Nicola Blackwood,

Of the ~200 [1] thugs Theresa May stated had been arrested during and after the
recent protests in London, 138 [2] were the "mindless thug[s]" [3] involved in
occupying Fortnum & Mason.

I direct your attention to a video (published by the Guardian) taken by 'legal
observers' within the Fortnum & Mason store [4]. The video shows a police chief
inspector calmly telling the protesters that they: are free to go, will be
safely escorted from the building, and had not been involved in violent
thuggery. So, Theresa May made a political statement which contradicted the
legal opinion of a police chief inspector (or the inspector was lying when
addressing the public); either is distressing.

In all likelihood the charges against the individuals arrested will be minor or
will be dropped entirely; However, it is a concern if a trumped up charge for a
public order offence could in future results in having you banned from
attending protests.

In the mean time the figures are being used to fuel a cross party zeal for
authoritarian measures. I would like your assurances that you will act to
ensure that stereotyping and knee jerk reactions do not drive policy. You seem
to be a keen question writer and I'm generally happy with the tone you've taken
on the Protection of Freedoms Bill; perhaps you’d consider a question to the
home secretary on this issue?

(I have no involvement with UK Uncut or know anyone personally effected
by the events in question; I’m simply concerned by the tone taken by
MPs on this issue)

Yours sincerely,
Craig Loftus

1. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2011-03-28a.25.2
2. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/mar/28/cuts-protest-uk-uncut-fortnum
3. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debate/?id=2011-03-28a.30.5
4. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/video/2011/mar/28/fortnum-mason-protesters-uk-uncut-video

P.S. I request the right to publish (on my blog) your response to my letter.

Posted on 01 Apr 2011

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