UK Uncut is NOT Above the Law

Missive to the Independent in response to Andreas Whittam Smith’s piece:

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/andreas-whittam-smith/andreas-whittam-smith-is-it-wise-to-criminalise-respectable-protest-groups-2257654.html

Sirs,

Andreas Whittam Smith shows a blinkered naiveté about UK Uncut second only to Johann Hari.

He seems to be oblivious to the direct connection between the “peaceful” but still inconvenient and illegal trespassing on property by UK Uncut and the violent behaviour that others who claim similar aims engage in.

There can be no question that the kind of civil disobedience that UK Uncut uses has directly inspired the violent acts against the same targets, and they have to bear some responsibility for it.

Obstruction and trespass are offences, and people who behave like that should expect to be arrested, especially when they are quite rightly seen as being part of a wider occurrence of illegal activity at the time.

If they want to push at the boundaries of acceptable protest, then they should expect there to be consequences. There were a half million of us who protested, legally and peacefully on Saturday and the mindless self-promoting tactics of UK Uncut and the splinter group’s violent action has totally diluted what could have been a very strong message.

… and bless ’em, despite it being contrary to a lot of their correspondents’ messages, they published it almost unedited:

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