QUIET RIOT: The government is trying to ban peaceful protests. In order not to exclude violent protests, the orbit of peace now includes arson, fighting, and guerilla warfare.
In the other direction, the definition will necessarily include talking to somebody, checking the time, and doing nothing in particular. The term “protest” will include the possibility that you might get a bit cross about something. The thin blue line will have carte blanche on seeing red.
The ultimate arbiter, though, will not be the police, however mendacious they may be. The buck stops with the smirkin’ merkin herself, Priti Patel.
Yes, our benevolent send-’em-Home Secretary will decide what constitutes a protest, and whether it is peaceful or not.
“This is an outrage!” shouted seasoned protester Wendy Wewantit. Unable to speak without chanting slogans and waving a placard, Wendy is upset that she does not therefore qualify for disability benefits. “What do we want? Freedom to bring London to a standstill for the slightest reason!”
Most people are unimpressed. “The new rules mean that Priti Patel can fling you in prison for 10 years if she doesn’t like the look of you,” grumbled Joe Public. “The terms and conditions are so widely drawn that going about your daily business could land you in deep trouble.”
So even these mild mannered citizens are thinking of throwing caution to the winds. “What do we want? A riot!” yelled Wendy. “In for a penny, as they say. RI-OT! RI-OT!”
Joe was in full agreement. “If Patel is going to arrest us for reading a newspaper in a public place, then let’s make it worth it, and have some fun,” he said. “Let’s riot, if she’s going to arrest us anyway. RI-OT! RI-OT!”
You can see why including rioting under peaceful protests is necessary.
Give peace a chance? Not in a hundredty twelvety thousandy years.