Thursday, September 29, 2005


heckler ejected

So farewell then, free speech. If an 82-year-old man who is clearly not a security threat cannot heckle a speech at a party political conference without being manhandled out of the hall by huge bouncers, then it is clearly a death-knell for free speech, especially when he is subsequently held by the police under the new anti-terrorism legislation.

...the prominent anti-war campaigner Alice Mahon also witnessed the incident.

She said: "We were listening to Jack talking about Iraq. This gentleman shouted 'That's rubbish, that's a lie'.

"Two or three of the security people dived on him. This other chap a couple of rows in front turned round and said 'You must be joking', because this was simple political heckling. He wasn't threatening anybody.

"He got manhandled out as well. I think they were really over the top." [BBC article]

See also: Guardian article

Just did a quick search on Walter Wolfgang (the heckler) - he is a veteran campaigner for Labour CND and a member of the Stop the War Coalition Steering Committee, and widely respected for it. So it's hardly surprising that he should have strong feelings about what Jack Straw was saying about Iraq.

1 comment:

BoldAndCourageous said... might be labeled "communist"...oops that was a different time or was it...;-)