Letter: Tatchell the martyr

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The Independent Culture
Sir: So Peter Tatchell challenges the way the Ecclesiastical Courts Jurisdiction Act 1860 gives the church "privileged protection against protest" ("Stars of stage and pulpit will support `indecent' Tatchell", 30 November). The Act does no such thing; it is merely one of several Acts which can be used to punish protesters.

A few years ago a former colleague of mine received a three months prison sentence for a loud protest at a borough council meeting. He was charged under the Public Order Act. I see no evidence that that particular Act gives local councillors "privileged protection from protest".

W G WINTLE

Southampton, Hampshire

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