The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Sad Times for English Zombies (And Everyone Else)

The ZRC blog reported extensively on the arrest/persecution of UK Zombie Activists (or just those dressed as Zombies, minding their own business). In fact, our most recent Zombie of the Year was one of said unjustly detained activists, Hannah Eiseman-Renyard, who bravely fought against said injustices in court.

Tragically, and in our opinion inexplicably, the Zombie Activists recently lost their case:

Royal wedding protesters have lost their high court claim that they were the victims of unlawful searches and arrests in a ruling that endorses the pre-emptive arrest police tactic just before the Olympics.

The Metropolitan police were accused of “suppressing anti-monarchist sentiment” over arrests to prevent disruption when Prince William married Kate Middleton in April last year.

But two judges ruled on Wednesday that the police had acted within their powers and were not guilty of operating an unlawful policy.

The ruling would be laughable if it wasn’t so deadly serious, for UK citizens both Undead and Alive. Amongst other things, the judges ruled that it was justifiable to arrest people based on suspicion that they would disrupt the peace in future, a suspicion obviously (and erroneously) based on things like.. being a Zombie in public.

Perhaps worse still, and bizarrely, the judges stated that even if unlawful arrests had been conducted, say of law-abiding Zombies, that couldn’t be used as evidence of an illegal policy.

Crimes conducted and coordinated together, in other words, can’t be used as evidence of criminal conspiracy by the government. Even if you admit they are crimes, conducted and.. coordinated. Together. By the government.

What the heck? And they say Zombies are the ones in need of brains.

For a truly enlightening response to this codification of injustice against the Undead look no further than our own Zombie of the Year’s op-ed in the Guardian:

Fifteen of those arrested on the day for fictional breaches of the peace brought a judicial review over the police’s tactics. We believe their actions were illegal and the result of an unlawful policy. Our judicial review was rolled together with three others – two about raids on squats the day before and one about a minor arrested pre-emptively for criminal damage. (Evidence: two pens in his backpack. He was initially stopped because he had a megaphone.)

The evidence we heard over the five-day hearing swung from the absurd to the sinister: the Met’s barrister, Sam Grodzinski, used an article from the Sun as evidence. He admitted that the raids carried out on squats had an ulterior purpose – to search for Operation Brontide suspects – but argued this did not void the warrants. Commander Bob Broadhurst, then head of public order policing for the Met, stated that the “sole reason for the timing” of the raids was related to the royal wedding, but the Met insisted this did not make the warrants unlawful. In the case of the Ratstar squat they came with a warrant for stolen bike parts yet seized no bikes. They did, however, take all the toothbrushes in an apparent sweep for DNA. In the case of Grow Heathrow the police came with a warrant for paint bombs. They found none, but seemed more interested in ascertaining the identities of everyone on the site.

A more dystopian picture of society is hard to paint. Cops falsifying warrants, rounding up citizens based on alleged political differences, random sweeps of DNA for who-knows-what purposes. It’s not pretty. And this post-hoc legalization of obviously illegal behavior is even uglier.

Still, The Zombie Rights Campaign is very proud and humbled by the struggles of our Zombie of the Year in this case. Victory is never assured when striving for social justice, as we are well aware, and odds are often good that the forces *of* good will lose the fight.

But not the war. We have faith, and our stalwart Zombie of the Year isn’t giving up the fight:

We are looking into appealing the decision. Our court case was made up from a patchwork of legal precedents, and accepting Lord Justice Richards’ verdict would allow the police to add our experiences to their arsenal. What I experienced was wrong and I cannot let this judgment stand.

The Zombies are with you, Hannah.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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