Lord Walney's Report Targets Extremist Protests and Their Coercive Effects

Lord Walney's report, "Protecting Our Democracy From Coercion," addresses the coercive effect of extremist protests, particularly Gaza marches, on Jews, police, and the public. The report highlights the need to understand ideological links behind such protests and suggests measures to protect democracy from coercion.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Lord Walney's Report Targets Extremist Protests and Their Coercive Effects

Lord Walney's Report Targets Extremist Protests and Their Coercive Effects

Lord Walney, the Government's independent adviser on political violence and disruption, is set to release a report next week titled "Protecting Our Democracy From Coercion." The report aims to address the coercive effect of extremist protests, particularly the Gaza marches, on Jews, police, and the public.

Why this matters: The report's findings have significant implications for the protection of minority groups and the maintenance of public order in the face of extremist protests. If left unchecked, such coercive tactics can undermine the fabric of democracy and create a culture of fear and intimidation.

The Gaza marches, which have been taking place weekly in London since October, are seen as intentionally coercive and threatening to Jews, with protesters failing to condemn the Hamas October 7 massacres of 1,200 mainly unarmed, mainly Jewish people. Over 200 hostages were taken, many of whom are still held and exploited as bargaining chips.

The Metropolitan Police are perceived as regarding Jewish counter-protests as more objectionable than the Gaza marches themselves, leading to feelings of fear and coercion among Jews. "If you are Jewish, and you see thousands of fellow British citizens filling the streets, many shouting their hatred of you and none expressing sympathy, you must feel scared," the author of the report states.

The protests also affect the wider public, who feel driven off the streets, and even high public authorities, who feel coerced and threatened. "Empowering extremist marchers only weakens the rest of us. Such coercion is corrosive to British democracy," the author emphasizes.

The report highlights the need to address the coercive effect of extremist protests on Jews, police, and the public. It suggests that the Gaza marches are part of a larger series of actions by extreme-Left groupings with ideological links to Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, and more. Lord Walney wants to ensure that government and law-enforcement agencies understand these ideological links better.

Questions are raised about who pays for such protests, and the report suggests that march organisers should be liable for costs incurred by policing and disruption to ordinary people and businesses. Lord Walney, formerly known as John Woodcock, has a history of being a fervent critic of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership of the Labour Party and has urged people to vote Conservative to stop Corbyn from getting his hands on the levers of national security and defence. He is also the chair of Labour Friends of Israel.

The report, set to be released next week, aims to shed light on the coercive nature of extremist protests in London and their detrimental effects on various segments of society. It raises important questions about the funding and ideological links behind these protests and calls for measures to protect democracy from such coercion.

Key Takeaways

  • Lord Walney's report to address coercive effect of extremist protests on Jews, police, and public.
  • Gaza marches in London seen as intentionally coercive and threatening to Jews.
  • Report highlights need to address ideological links between extremist groups.
  • March organisers may be liable for policing and disruption costs.
  • Report aims to protect democracy from coercive tactics and promote public order.