The High Court has today upheld the Public Space Protection Order created by London’s Ealing Council in April 2018. The Ealing PSPO criminalises prayer, the handing out of leaflets and any act of approval regarding Christian beliefs.
Whether you are religious or not, whatever your beliefs be, this is fundamentally a question of free speech. If the state bans Christians from peacefully praying, you will be next.
A group of London Christians have been ostracised for peacefully holding a prayer vigil near an abortion clinic. Meanwhile, changes unveiled by the Sentencing Council last month could see anyone critical of Islam given up to six years’ jail time.
The Ealing residents believe abortion to be murder, and hold pro-life vigils in hope that they can stop what they see as murder. They are not violent. They simply pray, and in so doing, they do not breach the harm principle defined by John Stuart Mill, the father of free speech.
Alina Dulgheriu, a mother aided by pro-life vigils and who brought the legal challenge is considering options for appeal.
“Today the Court has said that it is okay for councils to criminalise prayer, even silent prayer on our streets, how can this be right? Today the Court has dismissed fundamental human rights such as freedom of expression because it gives authorities the benefit of the doubt in whether doing so is reasonable or not. I thought the whole point of human rights is that authorities have to truly justify draconian laws?”
Andre Clovis of Tuckers Solicitors, representing Ms Dulgheriu has issued the following statement:
“This outcome sets a dangerous precedent and is a direct attack upon our very basic rights, such as freedom of expression. My view is that this decision cannot and should not be looked at in isolation for fear we continue the worrying trend of becoming a society where those with opposing views simply seek to shut each other down rather than engage in dialogue and debate.”
“The true test for your belief in freedom of expression, is whether you are prepared to fight for the rights of those whose views you do not share, because you believe it is their right to hold and express views different from your own.”
Clare Carberry, an Ealing resident and spokeswoman for the Be Here For Me campaign said:
“Much of the abuse she has experienced has been owing to grotesquely false allegations shamefully supported and bruited about by those who oppose her, including my own council ( Ealing) and even my local MP Rupa Huq.”
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)