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You can be a rebel, but only if you’ve got an approved cause


‘PARALLEL universe’ may be an overused phrase, but in a society that is becoming polarised by mutually exclusive information sources and ideological stances, it is increasingly apt.  

Consider, for example, the viral video last week of an independent journalist outside the US Supreme Court. Interviewing protesters against the predicted overturning of Roe versus Wade, a 1972 judgment that made abortion a constitutional right. 

This reporter exposed the astounding hypocrisy of the pro-choice lobby. After protesters told him why bodily autonomy was so important, he asked whether they supported vaccine mandates. ‘Er, that’s different,’ was a typical response.  

Similar lack of logic and insight was on display in a webinar on ‘shutting down dissent’ run by Jolyon Maugham’s Good Law Project (June 15, 2022). The panellists may have thought that they were principled, but in reality their concerns about the threatened rights to protest were nothing but partisan.  

From my perspective as a regular participant in protests against the Covid-19 regime, which were easily the largest and most aggressively policed rallies of recent years, I found their bias sickening. Could these ‘experts’ really have been unaware, or were they deliberately ignoring a movement of which they disapproved?  

First up was Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, founder of Women in Leadership and a black feminist campaigner. Arguing that protest is a fundamental right, she accused the Government of backing injustice by suppressing dissent, and saw that ‘democracy is being eroded before our eyes’.  

All good so far. Mos-Shogbamimu focused on the Sarah Everard ‘vigil’ at Clapham Common, which became a feminist protest against the police.  

This breached the social distancing rules of the second Covid-19 lockdown, and after a softly-softly approach failed, police officers arrested a few feisty characters. The gathering aroused public sympathy and institutional support, like Black Lives Matter during the first lockdown. Some causes, apparently, should be above the law.  

Mos-Shogbamimu completely overlooked the repeated targeting of young women at freedom protests. This is ironic, given that arrests at the vigil followed the police clearing the bandstand area due to lockdown infringements.  

In the parallel universe of this speaker, massive rallies in central London against deprivation of liberties with relentlessly brutal intervention by police in riot gear did not happen. Some are more equal than others, as George Orwell wrote in Animal Farm.  

Next up was Parm Sandhu, former chief superintendent in the Met Police, with 30 years of service, and a serial racism complainant.  

Policing is now political, Sandhu observed, and I’m sure that TCW readers would agree on this degradation of policing without fear or favour.  But her perspective is very different: The difficulty for police is in enabling protests that the community doesn’t want.  

Of course, she was not referring to the highly disruptive Extinction Rebellion roadblocks ‘that we all condone and support’. She meant ‘racist’ marches such as in Greenwich after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby.  

Sandhu remarked: ‘I will represent the view from the policing side, but also who I represent as a person, and there’s a huge conflict between the two’. She wants politically incorrect protests banned, because they offend her ‘values’.   

The third speaker was the co-founder of XR, Roger Hallam. Undoubtedly this man is an extremist, and his many convictions include three jail terms. He has threatened ‘a bullet to the head’ of people responsible for climate change.  

Hallam is well-spoken, and began with the tension between the right to disrupt and the right not to be disrupted. He could not resist the opportunity for climate crisis propaganda. Civil resistance is justified, but government is tightening the ratchet. 

Like the other speakers, Hallam mentioned only the protest movements of which he approves. It’s as though the whole phenomenon of protesting is inherently progressive or leftist, and any activity from beyond that scope is a reactionary strop underserving of serious consideration.  

Final speaker was Tom Wainwright, a specialist in protest law, whose biography on Gordon Court Chambers describes him as ‘extremely intelligent’. Good to get that in, Tom. He warned that ‘unprecedented attacks on the right to protest’ would overwhelm the criminal justice system.  

As well as sound-biting BLM, XR and the Suffragettes, he lauded the student protests of 2010 as an important moment, when thousands of young people took to the streets for the first time.  

The authorities are bullying protesters by insisting on an organiser having responsibility for the event, but did Wainwright mention the extortionate £10,000 fines issued to Piers Corbyn and Louise Creffield at perfectly peaceful freedom rallies in Trafalgar Square? No, he did not.  

Predictably, the webinar showed a selective sense of justice. For Sandhu, policing of protests would be improved by having more black and Asian female officers, and protected rights for minority groups (allowing their protests, while preventing protests against minority group interests).  

Absurdly, Mos-Shogbamimu perceived the BLM fever in June 2020, a globally contrived response to police killing of a felon in the US, as evidence of government racism.  

Up and down the country, during a draconian lockdown, politicians and councils from all sides promoted BLM rallies. Instead of maintaining ‘systemic racism’ as Mos-Shogbamimu argued, government ministers suggested that this was as a big a health concern as Covid-19.  

We really are nearing the stage when your rights to protest will depend on your ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and compliance to the globalist narrative.  

For a white Briton to attend a rally, the advice should be: ‘Don’t just do something; stand there.’ Because for the slightest excuse, the police will be ordered to arrest you, and you will be labelled a ‘white supremacist’. Not that Hallam et al would care.  

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