The freedom to post pictures of burning poppies

Kent Police force has posted this press release:

Man due to be interviewed in connection with Facebook posting

A man is due to be interviewed by police this morning following reports that a picture of a burning poppy had been posted on a social media website.

Officers were contacted at around 4pm yesterday, Sunday, 11 November 2012 and alerted to the picture, which was reportedly accompanied by an offensive comment.

Following an investigation by Kent Police a 19-year-old, Canterbury man was arrested on suspicion of an offence under the malicious communications act. He is currently in custody.

Posted on: 11 November 2012

More than a million Bristish soliders gave their lives in World Wars I and II to preserve a free nation.

I do not believe the free nation they had in mind was one in which you can be arrested for posting a picture of a burning poppy.

6 responses to “The freedom to post pictures of burning poppies

  1. Well said

  2. I am really surprised by the number of people I speak to who really cannot fathom the idea of “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”.

    Like when the government wanted to block social media in the riots, just months after publicly condemning Egypt for doing the same in the revolution. I know people who really are unable to make that connection.

  3. It really is shocking how quick intelligent people are to throw free speech out the window the moment someone says something they don’t like. It reminds me of Miss Manners’ observation: “Freedom is always appealing until you are forced to try to put up with someone else’s”. And, more chillingly, George W. Bush’s “There ought to be limits to freedom”, when complaining about parody web sites.

    Freedom to say only unobjectionable things is not freedom.

    And let’s not forget that, not so long ago, saying that black people should be allowed to vote was “objectionable” to many people.

  4. codemonkeysteve

    It’s even more mind-boggling if you’re an American who was unaware of the association between poppies and Veterans’ (Remembrance) Day. I just assumed they were objecting to the promotion of drug use. I’m not sure if that makes it any more or less ridiculous.

  5. I’ll second ‘codemonkeysteve’s comment. American here. I had no idea what the deal was, still freedom of speech has, not so slowly, been eroded by the illusion of safety.

  6. Yep, nothing to do with drugs. The idea is that burning a poppy is a protest against Remembrance Day, and that is unacceptable. And illegal. In what we thought was a free country.

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