Is Great Britain becoming a police state as we speak?
The United Kingdom is becoming a police state. While our rights are commonly violated in the U.S., we don't see the rampant violations of liberty as we do with our English speaking cousins across the ocean. This is ironic, because our nation is built largely upon the philosophy of that nation. In this case an individual was arrested based on vague allegations of suspicion, in the subway of London. He underwent an ordeal in just getting a formal apology from the London police, which is called commonly, the Metropolitan.
Police in the U.K. constantly stopped individuals under Section 44 of the British law, which authorized random stops (with no reasonable suspicious behavior necessary on the part of those who are stopped) in certain areas, usually London. Often in certain areas of London, such as by Buckingham palace or other landmarks. Thankfully, this vague and all encompassing section is no longer enforced against British citizens.
Now, I am sure you are well aware of the royal wedding between Kate Middleton and Prince William. Well, there are people in that nation who aren't big fans of the tradition of the monarchy. (By the way, if we had a monarchy in the U.S., those who always use tradition to defend every silly or unjust thing, such as denial of the right of marriage to gay couples, would use tradition to defend that monarchy.)
Well, protestors were arrested for the duration of the wedding ceremony. Yes, they arrested people for having the "nerve" to protest such a relic of an institution. One man was arrested for a sign that stated, "democracy, not monarchy." Another was arrested at his home for ""conspiracy to cause a public nuisance." Yeah, in other words using his freedom of speech.
Some republican activists (in the context of favoring a republic and not a monarchy) were arrested in a snatch and grab by British undercover police. Leaders of protests are commonly targeted by such tactics. Again, so much for freedom of speech and the press, which are supposedly just as much a right in the U.K., as here in the U.S. Indeed, police have used snatch and grab tactics here in the U.S.
Oh, I haven't even gotten to Brits arrested for filming police in encounters, as happens in the U.S. But that is a column for a different day.