Scientology: Glasgow Cops Love the Cu*t?

Anti-scientology protesters were out in force in Glasgow on Saturday and once again they were met by a police response that raised questions about the force's attitude towards the "Church" of Scientology.

At 3pm a camera-wielding flash mob arrived at Buchanan St to picket the Scientologists' "Free Stress Tests" stall. The flash mob tactic was chosen, a masked pap told me, because of the recent heavy-handed policing experienced by the Anonymice, both in Glasgow and elsewhere.

Famously, a 15-year old was arrested in England for carrying a sign proclaiming Scientology to be a "cult", triggering a further surreal twist to the story, as police and Anonymice across the country battle over whether they can use the c-word on their banners. Strathclyde Police say "no", while in Edinburgh they sought for and received explicit permission to use the epithet.

Police in Glasgow are continuing to use elastic interpretation of the law, combined with an apparent love of intimidating teenagers, to collect names and addresses of Anonymous protesters. This week they used "Section 22 (or 23) of the Anti-Drugs Act" to search an individual, on the grounds that he was shivering. If anyone out there can confirm whether this Act exists and the extent of the search powers it grants, then folk would like to know. It makes a change from "Section 50"anti-social behaviour powers.

This kind of police action has caused concern because of the CoS's past behaviour towards its known critics, their so-called "fair game" (?) policy, partly responsible for kicking off the protest wave. There's also an age / power factor involved, as many of the protesters are young and new to both protesting and political policing tactics. The police in Strathclyde evidently relish being able to bullshit this group more.

Whether the Police have a special love for the cult, or whether they just want to collect names in their notebooks to make it look like they are "doing" something, that's not clear. What is clear is that the Church of Scientology hates to be called a "cult" and there are still a large number of people opposed to it.

Comments

Re: Scientology: Glasgow Cops Love the Cu*t?

By Anonymous

As far as I know there is no such act. What he likely thought he was referring to is the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. This provides search powers, provided that there is 'reasonable suspicion' of the possession of drugs, under s.23(2).

It's generally very hard to get a Court to hold that a cop didn't have "reasonable suspicion" and they tend to get a lot of discretion  in practice.

 

 

Further report

By CH

Another report relating to this can be found on Indymedia UK.

Includes the following:

"There is a world wide protest by anonymous planed for the 14ths of june, the normal protest spot is hunters square, but the church of Scientology requested a permit for this spot & date before the protesters submitted there request, In a hope to stall the protest, the protesters but in yet an other permit but this was also declined and they are being forced to protest over 1 mile away from there normal spot"

Re: Scientology: Glasgow Cops Love the Cu*t?

By Anonymous

IANAL, but

http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2005/ukpga_20050017_en_1

 

Drugs Act 2005 2005 CHAPTER 17

I think it would be section 23 - that has a link to section 1 and 2 (plus ammendments) which concern the supply and misuse of drugs, it also links it to ASBO's and such like.

This is Glasgow, you get a lot of junkies on the streets.

 

 

Re: Scientology: Glasgow Cops Love the Cu*t?

By CH

"This is Glasgow, you get a lot of junkies on the streets."

Not generally protesting against the Church of Scientology. There was no reasonable suspicion here, just police once more extending their powers through acclimatisation.

And I don't think that, "Looking like a junky" should make anyone fair game to be stopped and searched whenever the police need to fill their notebooks, either.

Re: Scientology: Glasgow Cops Love the Cu*t?

By Anonymous

WHY IN GOD'S NAME ARE THE SCIENOS WASTING THEIR TIME IN SCOTLAND??

We're notoriously 'canny' with the cash, tough as hell and we don't suffer fools gladly or fall for fake religious nonsence......we've got the C of S......WHY DON'T THEY MAKE A STATEMENT?....

AT THE NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY THE MODERATOR SHOULD CLARIFY SCOTLAND'S POSITION ON RELIGIOUS CULTS.........AND THE POLICE SHOULD HONOUR IT!!!...........THIS ISN'T ENGLAND!

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