Not Saussure

December 17, 2006

Kafka, thou should’st be living at this hour

Filed under: Blogroll, civil liberties, UK — notsaussure @ 5:33 pm

Rachel and her friend Rabbit Strike (whom I hadn’t come across before, but will certainly be reading in future) have been to their local police station to hand in, separately, their applications to demonstrate for the final mass lone demonstration of 2006.   It’s one of the frustrations of not living in London any more that I can’t join this demonstration or the illegal carol service later in the day.  

In their attempts peacefully to demonstrate, they find themselves stuck in

an interminable limbo of bureaucratic form-filling and waiting endlessly to be seen, heard, validated by an unsympathetic, chaotic State Machine

along with others trying to report crimes, sign on as part of bail requirements, reclaim property and so on.   Their experiences were infuriating but darkly comic to read about.     The main point, it seems to me, isn’t that you have to go through this time-wasting nonsense to demonstrate, bad though that it, but that so many people are put through it every day.  

 


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3 Comments »

  1. Is this for real? Application to demonstrate? In Britain? I’ve been so long out of the country. Application?

    Comment by james higham — December 17, 2006 @ 9:13 pm

  2. Within one kilometre of Parliament, yep. The police can’t refuse their permission so long as you apply more than 6 days in advance, but they can impose conditions. For the background to all this, and the ‘mass lone demonstrations‘ organised to protest against the law, take a look at Rachel’s piece here and at the links it contains. Davide Simonetti, at The Nether World, writes frequently about it, too. There’s a Parliament Protest Blog, also.

    Comment by notsaussure — December 17, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

  3. Hey, thank you for the nice words. Just tried to email you and it bounced. Bah.

    It is surreal and absurd, isn’t it?

    Comment by rabbit strike — December 18, 2006 @ 1:02 am


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