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
Middlemoor HQ
Exeter
EX2 7HQ
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.

Yours,

Matt Blewett
Branch Secretary
Kernow Branch Celtic League

Related links:

Celtic Press –

Cornwall: Police Visit Homes Ahead of Olympic Torch Relay

Cornish flag confiscated –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=Bu7y_dvXOLI

Celtic League TV video –

https://www.youtube.com/user/celticleaguetv/featured
For comment or clarification on this news item in the first instance contact:
Rhisiart Tal-e-bot,
General Secretary,
Celtic League
Tel: 0044 (0)1209 319912
M: 0044 (0)7787318666
gensec@celticleague.net

The General Secretary will determine the appropriate branch or General Council Officer to respond to your query.

ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE
28/05/12

The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues.

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