This woman\’s vying for the Laurie Penny Award.
Because this is not solely about stamping out the under-represented but over-reported incidents of violent protest. Taking part in peaceful civil disobedience will become much more frightening as those arrested at protests are dragged through the courts system.
Despite the piecemeal nature of sentencing for those convicted of violent disorder (there are currently no sentencing guidelines in the crown court), comparatively speaking Gilmour\’s fate seems to be hugely disproportionate and unfair. He simply should not be imprisoned for crimes that hurt nobody.
He was convicted of violent disorder.
\”Violence\”, note the word? Otherwise known as doing things which might actually hurt someone?
Far from this making peaceful civil disobedience more difficult or more dangerous it makes it safer. If you\’re out there shouting \”No Cuts! No Cuts!\” and the coppers are worried that someone\’s going to throw a rubbish bin at the royals, or as has happened at other demos (in the past, not recently) bags of marbles are going to be spread so as to collapse said coppers and or their horses, concrete blocks are going to be dropped from bridges or fire extinguishers from the 6 th floor, then more heads are going to get cracked open than if the violents are safely inside Wormwood Scrubs and those on the street are indeed just shouting \”No Cuts! No Cuts!\”.
We\’re all made safer, demonstrators, coppers and the general public, by having the violents away from the rest of us.
That\’s actually the friggin\’ point of distinguishing between peaceful civil disobedience and violent disorder.
And further note that if Master Gilmour had actually hurt someone he would have been charged with that, more grievous offence. And quite rightly too.
Works the other way around too: it\’s absolutely right that that copper will stand trial for manslaughter over Ian Tomlinson. No one is or should be above the law. It\’s actually what civil liberty means.