**‘British Protester Charged with Racist Abuse for Dragging US Flag on Ground’ * Independent February 20th 2001 * **
Outside a US base in Yorkshire, a woman dragged the Stars and Stripes on the ground. She has been charged with racist abuse (causing harrassment, alarm and distress under the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act) because her action might strike fear into persons of US citizenship
What does this say about:
1/ The English Crown Prosecution Service (sort of national DAs) often referred to as the Clown Prosecution Service
for their amusing decisions
2/ The possibility of protest in a country without constitutional protection of free speech.
Okay, this is confusing. There are evidently two women involved, and sometimes they drag an American flag, and sometimes they merely display some kind of flag or banner, referred to as a “Stars & Stripes” flag–if it’s an American flag, why don’t they just say so? --with “STOP STAR WARS” written across it.
I’m assuming that this refers to the December 16 Lindis Percy arrest.
Evidently these women do this frequently.
I think the “racism” argument is a little thin–they’re discriminating against Americans because they’re Americans? I don’t really follow the logic of that, mainly because I don’t think of “American” as a race. “Americans” are composed of many different “races”, IMO. It sounds to me like the authorities are just scrounging around for something, anything, to charge these women with.
DDG, you have to keep in mind that the American definition of “race” isn’t necessarily the definition all other countries use. On more than one occasion I’ve heard British people refer to “Americans, as a race…”
Semantics aside, though - and also ignoring for the moment the philosophical freedom of speech issue - this sounds like a pretty silly arrest. I can’t imagine any American actually feeling threatened by it, not in England anyway … the same demonstration in, say, the Middle East would no doubt have a much different effect on the Yanks who witnessed it.