The right to protest

Just wanted to clarify something after seeing this article in the Gazette, and especially the headline on the print version which may have given the impression that the Council is somehow planning to restrict the right to protest in Colchester.

I can state quite explicitly that we’re not considering that at all.

What happened was that the Deputy Leader of the Opposition – who’s also Deputy Chairman of the Crime and Disorder Committee – decided that he wanted the Committee to discuss the student protests in the High Street because he didn’t like the disruption they caused. However, after listening to him, the local Chief Superintendent of police and various others (including protesters) the Committee decided that there really wasn’t anything to worry about. The only thing they decided is mention in the report, right at the end:

The committee decided to consult bus companies to see what could be done to limit disruption to their services in the event of another protest.

But I guess that doesn’t make for many dramatic front page headlines.

To reiterate, the parties that currently run Colchester Borough Council wouldn’t do anything to try and restrict people’s fundamental rights like this. Whether the Opposition might try something like that if they were to get into power here is something you’d have to ask them.