...By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Man who was previously arrested during a proclamation ceremony for the King in Oxford is now fearing detention again as he prepares to participate in a planned protest during the coronation.
Symon Hill, who called out “who elected him?” during the ceremony, was charged with disorderly behavior, but charges were later dropped.
Now, as a Republic protest in central London is planned, he is apprehensive of being arrested on “spurious grounds”.
Deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adelekan has warned that there is an extremely low threshold for anyone who will disrupt the coronation and the police will take swift action.
Mr Hill is concerned that members of the public are being deterred from exercising their right to peaceful protest.
He is alarmed by the comments from the deputy assistant commissioner and expressed his worries that the police will restrict free expression and people will be arrested on spurious grounds.
New laws have given police greater powers to deal with protesters, including arrest for locking on.
The rush of new legislation followed scurrilous stories in some newspapers involving baseless claims about republicans’ supposed plans for violent disruption, which has contributed to the climate of an atmosphere aimed at deterring people from exercising their right to peaceful protest.
Despite the concerns of Mr Hill, he remains determined to participate in the protest against monarchy on Saturday.
He noted that senior police officers made comments about respecting the right to protest after his arrest, but this did not last long.
He believes that if the police were applying the law in a neutral way, respecting the right to protest would be included rather than “choosing their own ‘thresholds’ for peaceful dissent.”