Tom Parker Bowles: Everyone has a right to protest
Anti-monarchy campaign group Republic is planning to disrupt the Coronation procession on May 6 with a “sea of placards” lining The Mall. The Republican campaigners say the occasion will be a “significant game changer” for their movement. More than a thousand activists are expected to take part in the group‘s “largest protest action” in its 50-year history. However, a new Express.co.uk poll has shown more than three-quarters of readers think that Britons are wrong to protest at the occasion next month.
Chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, said: “This is the first time that a major royal event has been directly confronted with a protest of this size. I think Coronation day will be a moment, the biggest moment we’ve had. When they [the Royal family] arrive, there are going to be millions and millions watching the Coronation and so there will be millions watching us.”
Just Stop Oil activists have also refused to rule out a protest during the Coronation. Last week, member James Skeet told Good Morning Britain presenter Adil Ray: “Just Stop Oil will do whatever is non-violently necessary. We’ll do whatever is non-violently necessary to save us.”
Queen Camilla’s son Tom Parker Bowles has said that anti-monarchy groups should be allowed to protest at the Coronation as “we all have different views” He told The News Agents podcast: “We live in thankfully a free country…if people want to protest that’s their right to do so. If people protest, people protest. You’re allowed to protest. We all are allowed to have different views and I think that makes for an interesting and civilised country.
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In response, Express.co.uk ran a poll from 7.10am on Saturday, April 22, to midday on Tuesday, April 25, asking readers: “Are Britons right to protest at the Coronation?”
A total of 2,803 votes were received with the vast majority, 78 percent (2,197 people) answering “no” they should not protest. In contrast, 20 percent (565 people) said “yes” they are right to protest and a further two percent (41 people) said they did not know either way.
Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed whether or not activists should demonstrate at the Coronation.
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The predominant view shared by readers was against protesters during the Coronation celebrations. Username henrystoupee said: “I think protesting at the Coronation is insensitive to the millions of people who want to enjoy it!”
Likewise, username citizenz1234 wrote: “Of course, they should have the right to protest, but they should not have the right to detract from other people who wish to enjoy the Coronation.”
Username wintersday commented: “As I see it everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and opinions and that is all they need to be – thoughts. Supporters do not go around with placards saying ‘My King/My Queen’, why should [others] be allowed to upset the enjoyment of the majority?”
While username Northern-Lass added: “People should have more respect for our country and our Royal family. There is a time and a place for everything but the Coronation is not it.”
Whereas others thought that Britons should be able to express their views. Username rando94 said: “Everyone has the right to peaceful protest emphasis on peaceful.”
And username liverpoollou wrote: “Our freedom of speech, which includes the right to peacefully protest, is more important to us these days than ever before…of course, people should be free to protest if that is how they feel.”
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