You remember those, don’t you? Each card has ‘hitpoints’ and you attempt to overwhelm your opponent. Of course, it was easy to play, as you knew in advance just how many hitpoints each card had. You simply didn’t know what cards your opponent had.
Well, Harry’s Place reports that the mystery of the anti-gay stickers has been solved, at least as far as charging someone, anyway:
Rainbow Hamlets, the Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum, has learned that British Transport Police have charged an 18 year old man with displaying threatening, abusive or insulting material within the sight of a person likely to be caused harassment, alarm or distress. This is an offence under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986 and the maximum penalty is a £1,000 fine. We understand that the charges arise from the posting of “gay free zone” stickers at Bow Church DLR station in February and that the defendant was identified from CCTV images.
Great news! You must be really pleased that someone’s been caught and charged and…
While we welcome the news that criminal proceedings have finally been instituted in response to the stickers, we are disappointed the Crown Prosecution Service felt that more serious charges are not appropriate. This is only one step up from bill-posting.
Well, technically, and leaving out all the guff to come about ‘hate crimes’, it is no worse than bill posting.
Those behind the campaign must have been aware that LGBT people would have been upset by the stickers. It is simply not credible that those responsible for posting the stickers did so without intent either to cause alarm or distress, or alternatively to threaten or intimidate LGBT people in Tower Hamlets.
We have therefore formally requested a review of the decision at an appropriate level and have asked to meet with the Crown Prosecution Service so that they can explain more fully the reasons underlying it.
Wow, is that how it works, then? Does anyone get a chance to demand a meeting with the CPS so they can explain their decision, or is it something reserved for special groups only?
In commenting on the case, co-chair of Rainbow Hamlets, Rebecca Shaw said: “This news also confirms the result of our own review of current hate crime legislation, that it offers varying levels of protection to individuals depending on the nature of the offence committed against them. If the stickers had instead discriminated on the basis of race or religion, the defendant could have been charged with aggravated public order act offences under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Such offences are imprisonable. We reject strongly the resultant presumption that hate crime targeted at LGBT people should be perceived as less significant than religious or racial alternates or indeed that when LGBT people experience hate crime they are less deserving of a framework which offers a robust response. This is a matter on which we will be pressing Parliament for change in the near future.”
And the bandwagon rolls on, and on, and on, and on…
So we all await the outcome of this, so we can determine whether the ‘Muslim’ card has fewer hitpoints than the ‘LGBT’ card, or more. Meanwhile the ‘person’ card languishes at the bottom of the pack, never played. Not enough hitpoints, you see.
In fact, none.