I AM shocked to learn that Kent Police has asked Christ Church University to provide them with a list of attendees to the fracking debate hold at the University on November 19. When Chief Inspector Steve Barlow says they have to protect the public, well, excuse me – the attendees to the debate at Christ Church and other interested persons are the public. This Is a gross abuse of power and the police should explain themselves. Thank heavens Christ Church had both the integrity and counnon sense to refuse. As I understand it, the police are now trying to justify this demand by saying they were merely asking Christchureh if they wore keeping a list in case there was trouble at the event. Christchurch deny this and have stated clearly that the police did ask to acquire this list.
For some years now police in different parts of the country have been compiling lists of people who have attended various environmental and other protest events. These people are apparently put on lists of “domestic extremists” and find their cars being stopped by the police for totally unrelated reasons, Is this attempt to acquire the attendee list at Christ Church a continuation of this grotesque attack on our democratic right to protest and our freedom of speech? Who authorised this particular infringement on ou civil liberties? We should be told.
Herne Bay Times, December 23th 2014