Unexpected Olympic Legacy for Cornwall
News From Celtic Press
The Secretary of the Kernow Branch of the Celtic League has written a letter of complaint to the Chief of Police, following allegations of harassment from the police in Cornwall by members of the League.
Matt Blewett, who took over the role of Branch Secretary in March 2012, complained in his letter that people in Cornwall had been visited in their homes, ahead of the arrival of the Olympic torch, to ask what their intentions were towards Olympic torch activities. Mr Blewett pointed out in his letter that the visits to the homes of known Cornish activists were tantamount to racism and that an apology to those people who had been harassed in this way should be given immediately. Mr Blewett also pointed out that citizens have the right to peaceful protest, if they so choose.
In addition to the Police Constabulary, the Branch Secretary is also planning to write to the London Olympic Committee about two unrelated issues linked to the removal of the Cornish language from a sign at Land’s End and the confiscation of a Cornish flag from one of the Olympic torch runners.
The full text of Matt Blewett’s letter to the Police is set out below, including a link to two films. One of the films shows the police confiscating the Cornish flag from one of the runners and the other is a film produced by the Branch about the legacy of the Olympics in Cornwall.
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
21st May 2012
I am writing to protest at the recent harassment of members of the Celtic League by your officers. Several members have been visited at home uninvited and asked about their “intentions” were towards the Olympic Torch activities. This raises several unpleasant and distasteful issues.
Firstly, the Celtic League is a legitimate political organisation fostering links across the Celtic Nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Mann, Cornwall and Brittany. To single out members of this organisation by your officers is intimidation at the very least, and illegal censorship by the police at worst.
Secondly, our members have a right of protest, as do all British Citizens. Your visits imply this right to be proscribed. If our members wanted to protest, and there are so many grounds for doing so, by what right would you prevent them?
Thirdly, your officers targeted Cornish people in Cornwall. This is racism, pure and simple. Your claim to equality and diversity is proven false. There are many people, of which Mr Lidbury is only the most vociferous, who claim that the greatest threat to the British people comes not from foreign terrorists, but from the police. Your actions towards our members supports this claim.
I feel an apology to the Celtic League, and to its individual members you harassed, is the very least you must do to repair some of the damage your actions have done. If you fail to do so, you will confirm our suspicions that we are living in a dictatorial police state, and we will seek more formal redress.
Kernow Branch Celtic League
Celtic Press –
Cornish flag confiscated -
Celtic League TV video -
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