On Sunday 21st March we all saw the awful scenes in Brighton which was supposed to be a peaceful rally aimed at proposals within the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Kill the Bill was the headline, the protestors were upset at the plans within the bill that would increase powers for dealing with peaceful protests.

There are videos widely available in the press showing protestors chanting ‘10 years for protests 5 years for rape’. This makes me wonder how much they understand about what they are protesting about.

Rape is an Indictable only offence which carries a maximum of life imprisonment. Where have they got their information from?

The sentencing Council published a definitive guideline on the Sexual Offences Act 2003 which provides a statement of the applicable principles of sentencing. It specifies sentencing ranges for different offences and categories to reflect the varying levels of seriousness and starting points from which, the sentence can be calculated.

Perhaps the truth may just get in the way of a protestor who is hell bent on violence and destruction.

The scenes outside Bridewell Police Station were quite shocking, setting fire to police vehicles when occupants were inside. Spraying police vehicles with graffiti and using the vehicles as a climbing frame. What will that achieve?

Arson with intent to endanger life also caries a maximum life sentence, I wonder if that crossed their minds.

The police station was set upon, and in one report a window was smashed with a skateboard. A skateboard? Really? How old are these people?

Is there a good way to hold a peaceful protest or is there another way of getting a point across that does not have the potential to ignite serious violence and destruction?

Protests continue outside a West Yorkshire school following an RE teacher showing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad even though the crowds know the teacher has been suspended pending investigation.

I am not saying what he did was right nor wrong, but what good are the protestors doing?

That teacher has had death threats made against him and it is understood that he is now under police protection.

The Education Secretary Gavin Williams has condemned the threats, and quite right too.

He is quoted as saying “teachers are allowed to expose pupils to challenging or controversial issues”.

Meanwhile the teacher, like the police, who serve us all at some point in our lives, are subjected to this vile behaviour at the hands of ‘protestors’ who want what exactly?

Is there another way to deal with issues we do not like or agree with? Does it need to involve endangering people’s lives? Yes, and absolutely not.

This blog was written by Lynn Mahon

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