Assembly for me, but not for thee

`Assembly for me, but not for thee. By Brendan O’Neill.

There were two disturbing things about the scuffles at the Sarah Everard vigil. The first was the behaviour of the cops. The second was the shock of some of the attendees and of the high-profile feminists, columnists and politicians who were cheering them on, who genuinely could not believe that their public assembly was being assaulted and dispersed. These people seem to think that lockdown measures don’t apply to them. …

The cops:

The actions of the police were despicable. This was a gathering mainly of women, who wanted to show their sorrow for Sarah Everard and their opposition to male violence. And what did the cops, many of them burly men, do? They manhandled the women. They dragged them away from where they were laying flowers and paying their respects. They threw some of them to the ground, arrested others, tried to break up this act of public mourning and of public defiance. It was some of the most boneheaded, tone-deaf policing we have seen in recent years. …

The upper class:

From the right to the left, there has been condemnation of the cops’ assault on the Everard vigil. Yet from the same right to the same left there was widespread support over the past year for placing the population under something akin to house arrest and severely restricting our right to meet other people in public. … There was a depressing consensus among political influencers about the need to suspend fundamental civil liberties in the name of keeping people safe from disease. …

The truth — and it’s a disturbing one — seems to be that they thought these restrictions were not for people like them. Not really.

The horror of these mostly middle-class campaigners gives away their sense of entitlement. Covid clampdowns — those are for riff-raff like anti-lockdown protesters, right? And for Hasidic Jewish weddings? And for gangs of working-class football fans, like those Rangers fans who gathered in public a couple of weeks ago and who were roundly, furiously condemned by some of the same people currently in a state of shock that their public assembly was shut down on Saturday. Right?

Surely these unprecedented measures are for other people, for evil lockdown sceptics or lower-class sports-lovers, not for refined politicos like us. Not for feminists concerned about male violence, or middle-class graduates who support BLM and XR (their recent public gatherings were backed by the media elites, too). …

Assembly for me, but not for thee. Disease-control measures are for them, not us.

And they lecture us about entitlement, privilege, and racism. Fully sick.

hat-tip Stephen Neil