Yesterday I commented about a march/procession that is being organized by “Islam for the UK”. Discussing this matter with other people elsewhere I’ve come to realize that this march may be more significant than at first site. Assuming of course that it’s not just an elaborate hoax which if you read the site seems almost creditable.
However there are two aspects to this march which I think are really worth further consideration.
1) How this march will be policed, and if it will be allowed to go ahead.
2) If the published material for this march is considered either treasonous or seditious and what action if any is taken.
Looking at the first element, we have in recent times seen what many consider to be quite heavy handed policing of climate camps, G-whatever protests and EDL marches. The EDL marchers have not started any trouble and appear to be calling for the preservation of English law and culture. By contrast the march by “Islam for the UK” will be going through the proscribed area around parliament and call for the the over throw of Parliament, democracy and the Monarchy in the UK. Note that’s abolition of these institutions not reform or change of policy.
So will this march be allowed to go ahead on it’s planned route, or will the police insist on changes to route, and if so what will happen if the marchers decide they’d much rather stick to their preferred route? Assuming the march goes ahead on an agreed route and that there’s no trouble in that regard how is it going to be policed, will there be an escort of armed riot police with dogs as at a recent EDL march? Will they be kettled? Or will the police forces be directed at keeping counter protests away? Again I would highlight the very different nature of what this march is calling for compared to the other marches mentioned.
So this is definitely one to watch as the treatment of this march compared to others will be highly informative.
but even if the march doesn’t go ahead, how the website and other literature is treated is also very interesting. I suggested that it might be treasonous but was told by someone that no treason requires action. So I looked into the treason act (Much easier now so many laws are on line), and it would seem that publishing material calling for the over throw of the Monarchy is still a felony under the Treason Felony Act 1848 which states:
“or any of them, shall express, utter, or declare, by publishing any printing or writing . . . . . . or by any overt act or deed, every person so offending shall be guilty of felony”
Which I think very clearly covers the material on their website, and this act was upheld by the law lords against the Guardian in 2003. So it is still very much in force. The act also states:
“As to the punishment of accessories before and after the fact.
In the case of every felony punishable under this Act, every principal in the second degree and every accessory before the fact shall be punishable in the same manner as the principal in the first degree is by this Act punishable”
Which I suspect would mean that everyone attending or supporting the march is also committing an act of treason. Now whilst I realize that prosecuting people for treason is very much out of fashion, I do wonder what would happen if the police where made aware of this, and if they where aware of it what would happen. also if the police are aware of this and then both allow the march to go ahead and facilitate it’s progression would they also be liable as accessories to treason?
Definitely one to watch, as unless I’m very much misunderstanding things this march and even just the website could be quite significant.
Oh and any one on the march or involved with this living in the UK that are not British citizens would also be committing an act of sedition under the Aliens Restriction (Amendment) Act 1919
Update Thanks to Defender over on Old Holborns blog there is also this article from the Express, so the police and many MP’s are aware of it, but so far treason appears to still be very much out of fashion.