George Monbiot writes about the Governments increasing laws to stop effective forms of protest.
If, for example, you were to send a newspaper article about how one of these businesses treats its animals to a client or a shareholder, you'd be in danger of prosecution under the act. This would be bad enough. But police and prosecutors have cast the net even wider and made the law even vaguer by prefacing it with "conspiracy to".
This was the charge on which a young man called Sean Kirtley was convicted in 2008. He had not intimidated or threatened anyone, or even interfered in a contractual relationship: he had merely updated a website with details about authorised and peaceful protests. Because some of the people who attended these protests used abusive language, and because this language was classified by the Crown Prosecution Service as an attempt to interfere in contractual relationships, Kirtley was alleged to have conspired in the commissioning of an offence. He was sentenced to four and a half years. He was acquitted on appeal, but not before he had served 16 months.
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