Saturday, December 16, 2006

A few days ago I heard on the news that anti-war protesters finally won their case against the police to prove that their rights to protest were violated after 120 of them were detained by the police in March 2003. The campaigners had planned a peaceful demonstration outside Fairford airbase in Gloucestershire (which is where many American B-52 bombers were launched from to bomb Baghdad in the early day of the war) but instead they were stopped in their coaches, searched, then kept in there for two hours and then escorted away from the base and sent on their way. The campaigners were obviously not happy about this at all and so they took the police to court. On the 14 December this year the campaigners finally won their legal battle when high court of appeal ruled that the police acted unlawfully.
Gloucestershire police said that it was “disappointed” with the outcome and that the officers had acted in “good faith”.
But here’s the interesting part. When interviewed on the news the other night the head of Gloucestershire police (who looked pretty upset) said that they did this for the protesters’ own safety as they were worried that a demonstration might make the American pilots angry and result in them opening fire on the protesters.

[Some violent shakes of the head to adjust brain in right place followed by a minute or two of staring at the monitor with widened eyes]

Excuse me?
You were worried about the American pilots getting angry and opening fire on the protesters?
Opening fire on these didgeridoo playing, tree hugging, British, peaceful protesters?
And this is really what you think of American pilots? That they are sadistic robot gorilla types that are programmed to shoot at anything that might look like it might disagree with them?
And these are the creatures that were sent off to carry out “precision bombings” in Baghdad?
I don’t for a minute think that this would ever have happened you know. That the Americans would open fire on the protesters I mean. It’s absolutely ridiculous. But what really makes me laugh is that this is obviously what the British police think! Of their allies! Oh dear!


Anonymous said...

Oh man! I hope the Captain of the Base heard that report.

Anonymous said...

a lame excuse is better than no excuse at all!

homeyra said...

Heard and seen before: A slap on your head for your own good!
It seems there is a need for creating a new job: a cultural adviser to the head of Gloucestershire police and the like.

amanda kay said...

i wouldn't put anything past americans.

amanda kay said...

i feel like i need to put a disclaimer in here in case someone doesn't appreciate truly dry humor.

but i find this really amusing and not at all shocking as an american that worked for the british for several years...

actually i'm refreshed to see in the news that americans aren't the only ones that may be need of obtaining some 'cultural understanding'.

Shirin said...

That was a very stupid thing to say and I’m sure the guy that said is kicking himself now. But if you look at it from their point of view, you might be able to sympathise with them a little. Take the Gulf war for example. 18 British soldiers died there, 9 of them were killed by the Americans. ;-) As we say in Farsi I think here we might have a case of Mar gazideh (snake bitten) being scared of black and white rope! ;-)