Nobody should doubt the importance of peaceful protest in any free and democratic country, we are fortunate that Great Britain has had a great respect for this tradition for many decades. We should not forget what a powerful force peaceful protest can be, we possibly take for granted some of the rights and freedoms we have been granted through the actions of those who have made the effort to actually take to the streets in support of something in which they fervently believe.

Simply having the right to protest in public has been a hard fought battle and it is only now, with the Human Rights Act, that we, at last, have this right written into law. And because of the importance of this right to peaceful protest we all have a responsibility to uphold our end of the bargain and not misuse this legislation. It’s true that there are still many other laws that can be used aagainst the protester and it is therefore essential that we stay on the right side of these laws. It is not reasonable to protest against the Monarchy and their insistence at sleeping in ostentatious canopy beds by setting fire to our local furniture store. We as a nation need to be intelligent in the way we protest and not play into the hands of the authorities, some of whom would be only too willing to take away our rights given half the chance.

In the authors opinion we would do well to take the time to study the necessary literature regarding the organisation and participation of peaceful protest and passing on this information to anyone you know who wishes to get involved.