This afternoon I was pointed towards this blog post entitled ‘Blogger arrested for filming council meeting: In Carmarthenshire, this is what democracy looks like’ on twitter and whilst my blood didn’t boil my head shook in despair. Sadly this is the type of thing has happens all too often. Someone in power doesn’t like someone/something and abuses their power in an attempt to silence them.
The blogger is question is called Caebrwyn and her blog can be found here. From all the evidence she has produced it seems as though the council decided that they just wanted to silence her and she had annoyed them with you know – taking an interest in what they do. So they basically by-passed the law and decided to call the police and say they she was breaching the pace. Now someone filming an event and not making a noise or getting in the way quite simply cannot be breaching the peace. Anyone with a brain knows that. It isn’t rocket science.
Still though four police officers turned up and proceeded to arrest her and keep her locked up until she signed a memo stating that she wouldn’t film council proceedings again. I think we all know exactly where she stands legally on this as the police cannot enforce that contract without suffering a humiliating defeat in court should they want to go that far. If something is not illegal nor against any rules (and filming open proceedings in a council is not against either the law or the rules of the council) then enforcing it is pointless.
The Carmarthenshire Council Chairman and Mark James are named as those who decided to step in and call the police. What arseholes. Not only that what power abusing arseholes. If you don’t like what someone is reporting – certainly when they are reporting it accurately and with evidence then you know what – deal with it and take the stick like a man. Don’t abuse your power and try to scare off someone doing something that is perfectly within their right.
If you don’t want to come across as an arsehole then the best way to do it isn’t by getting the person reporting it arrested but by stopping being an arsehole. It seems as though some people are just too stupid to understand this. The people involved in the decision to call the police and putting Caebrwyn through this experience should be disgusted with themselves but I suspect they just couldn’t give a damn.
These are people that we – the electorate – vote into office. Sadly they say all power corrupts but when it comes to infringing on someones freedom then it goes beyond the pale. There were other witnesses there and councillors and I wonder if they came forward to police to corroborate Caebrwyn’s version of events whether the police will arrest the Chairman and Mark James for wasting police time?
Somehow I doubt it.
This sickens me.
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