UK democracy not a gift from the powerful

This video from Britain says about itself:

Taking Liberties [Full Film]

27 March 2011

The shocking truth about the erosion of our fundamental civil liberties by Tony Blair‘s government will be exposed this summer in TAKING LIBERTIES, released on DVD in the UK cinemas by Revolver Entertainment October 15th 2007.

Right to Protest, Right to Freedom of Speech. Right to Privacy. Right not to be detained without charge, Innocent Until Proven Guilty. Prohibition from Torture.

TAKING LIBERTIES will reveal how these six central pillars of liberty have been systematically destroyed by New Labour, and the freedoms of the British people stolen from under their noses amidst a climate of fear created by the media and government itself.

TAKING LIBERTIES uncovers the stories the government don’t want you to hear — so ridiculous you will laugh, so ultimately terrifying you will want to take action. Teenage sisters detained for 36 hours for a peaceful protest; an RAF war veteran arrested for wearing an anti-Bush and Blair T-shirt; an innocent man shot in a police raid; and a man held under house arrest for two years, after being found innocent in court. Ordinary law-abiding citizens being punished for exercising their ‘rights’ — rights that have been fought for over centuries, and which seem to have been extinguished in a decade.

From British daily The Morning Star:

Fight for our rights

(Sunday 01 July 2007)

Democracy: The Long Revolution ed. David Powell and Tom Hickey
(Continuum, £14.99)

IAN SINCLAIR is given a timely reminder that our democratic rights have been fought for tooth and nail and remain constantly under threat.

Mainstream history would have us believe the evolution of democracy in the British Isles has reached its conclusion, our democratic rights having been kindly bestowed on us by the great men sitting in the Houses of Parliament.

In contrast, this short collection of essays provides an excellent illustration of ex-slave Frederick Douglass‘s timeless dictum that “power concedes nothing without a demand. It never has and it never will.”

According to David Powell and Tom Hickey in the introduction, Democracy: The Long Revolution is history as “a highly subversive subject posing dangerous questions.”

Written largely by history professors and lecturers, each chapter deals with a key moment of popular rebellion, such as the 1381 Peasants’ Revolt, the Chartist movement and the formation of the Labour Party.

Reading these essays in toto, it is clear that democratic progress is not inevitable, but has been hard won by committed individuals and groups often working outside Parliament’s walls.

Always bitterly opposed by those in power, democracy has grown in fits and starts and is in constant danger of being rolled back by the state, as Chris Atkins recently highlighted in his film Taking Liberties.

History of Chartism: here.

2 thoughts on “UK democracy not a gift from the powerful

  1. Pingback: Obama presidency, from hope to more war | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: A history of British colonialism and neo-colonialism in Ireland, 1789-2006 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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