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Rising Sun*
05-31-2010, 08:08 AM
I guess it'd be alright for me, as a proud descendant of the disgraceful Irish, to express my cultural views of the English monarchy by dropping my tweeds outside Buckers and giving Liz a good gape at my arsehole or wedding tackle? Or maybe by throwing potatoes at her? I'm sure none of her protective staff would stop me doing that in light of the latitude apparently allowed others expressing their displeasure in Britain in culturally appropriate ways.


Met allows Islamic protesters to throw shoes

David Leppard

SCOTLAND YARD has bowed to Islamic sensitivities and accepted that Muslims are entitled to throw shoes in ritual protest — which could have the unintended consequence of politicians or the police being hit.

News of the concession by the Metropolitan police has come to light amid a series of trials of more than 70 mostly Muslim demonstrators who were charged with violent disorder after last year’s Gaza protests outside the Israeli embassy in London.

Aquib Salim, 21, an IT student at Queen Mary, London University, who was involved in a shoe-throwing incident, is almost certain to avoid a prison sentence as a result.

Chris Holt, Salim’s solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines.

“The court accepted that the earlier shoe-throwing incident was simply a ritual form of protest and therefore not a criminal act of violence,” Holt said.

Judge Denniss agreed that the act of shoe-throwing should not be considered in a charge of violent disorder against the student because it was “a symbolic” political gesture.

Shoes, and particularly the soles of shoes, are regarded as ritually unclean in the Islamic world. An Iraqi journalist became a folk hero for throwing a shoe at President George W Bush during a press conference in December 2008.

The president ducked, but Muntadhar al-Zaidi was jailed for three years and allegedly tortured by the Iraqis. He was released after nine months and his gesture inspired many imitators.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service admitted this weekend that the police advice to the Downing Street protesters was a factor in the case at Isleworth crown court, west London.

It has now emerged that the Metropolitan police first told protesters of its stance on shoe-throwing shortly after the attack on Bush.

The concession has already been taken up enthusiastically by Muslim demonstrators, who pelted Downing Street with shoes in protest at the Israeli bombing of Gaza last year.

Dozens of ski-boots and clogs were also hurled at the US consulate in Edinburgh in a related protest, in which three policemen sustained minor injuries.

Lindsey German, convenor of the Stop the War coalition, said: “After the incident in Baghdad we told the police that people would want to bring shoes to throw at Downing Street.

“They said that was okay and there was a facility allowed for people to bring old pairs of shoes. Afterwards they joked that they didn’t realise we were going to throw the shoes so hard.”

In January 2009, anti-war protesters advertised a demonstration outside Downing Street by posting a photograph of a pair of old shoes under the words: “Bring your old shoes to throw at useless Gordo.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article7094311.ece

What I don't understand is why the British police allow this but get so wound up about Islamic suicide bombers who, after all, are just expressing their contempt for British institutions and people in their culturally appropriate way by wrapping themselves in sticks of explosives and blowing themselves up in a judicially approved symbolic political gesture.

After all, as noted in the article above, throwing a stick at police isn't that serious so using a lot more sticks against civilians can't be too bad: "Chris Holt, Salim’s solicitor, said he was likely to get a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a single charge of throwing a stick at police lines." Even if nothing was said about throwing sticks being a culturally approved symbolic political gesture.

pdf27
05-31-2010, 09:01 AM
The Metropolitan Police (the force in question here) have some major issues with the way they police public demonstrations. Compared with their practice of killing innocent bystanders (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/18/g20-ian-tomlinson-death), letting people throw shoes and then changing their mind and charging them with assault for it is a bagatelle.

Nickdfresh
05-31-2010, 09:08 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncdyTWzqIgU

Rising Sun*
05-31-2010, 09:18 AM
The Metropolitan Police (the force in question here) have some major issues with the way they police public demonstrations. Compared with their practice of killing innocent bystanders (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/18/g20-ian-tomlinson-death), .

That got a fair bit of coverage here at the time.

It wouldn't happen here. We tend to let our police get the shit knocked out of them by the feral rent a mob at public demonstrations, but if the police try to maintain order they're criticised as thugs. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUbqoC1tRw0&feature=related

Smoking Frog
08-07-2011, 02:12 PM
Maybe I could donate some of my old shoes to be thrown at david cameron?? ;)