Letter: Slogans which make no sense

Share
TONY BLAIR says of the Balkan war, "This is a battle of values. We defend free speech. People are entitled to criticise and question" . On Saturday 29 May I went with about 60 anti-nuclear protesters from 17 countries to take part in a series of non-violent activities at Nato HQ in Brussels. I was hoping to present myself at the gate as a citizen of a neutral country, Ireland, and to request for dialogue with a spokesperson about how to stop the war. I had no intention of involving myself in acts of civil disobedience.

I never got anywhere near Nato HQ. As soon as we stepped off the tram about half a mile away, we were hemmed in by a large force of police. A young woman was dragged out from among us, handcuffed, and pushed into a police van. I asked an inspector what was going on. He said he had ordered us to disperse "10 minutes ago". I said I hadn't heard him. He said, "That's because you're old and hard of hearing." I realised this was some sort of mass arrest. I was then manacled, with my arms behind my back, and heaved into the van. At the police station, women were separated from men and put into a "hold", a barred cage inside a room, far too small for 30 people. It was extremely hot, without ventilation, and the 30 men next door were in a similar condition.

After 12 hours we were released. We were told that we had been subjected to what is called in Belgium "Administrative Arrest", as authorised that morning by a decree of the Mayor of Brussels. Also, it seems that Nato had declared itself a "war zone" within the city of Brussels and had thereby sealed off its HQ against any attempt to exercise any democratic right to "criticise and question".

MARGARETTA D'ARCY

Galway, Ireland

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
More From
Margaretta D'Arcy
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: European Sales Director - Aerospace Cable & Wire

£100000 - £125000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a top tier supplier to the...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Project Manager

£17100 - £22900 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the North West's leading...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an intermediate help de...

Recruitment Genius: CNC Turner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established manufactu...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Caitlyn Jenner's first shoot is a victory - but is this really best version of femininity we can aspire to?

Sirena Bergman
The sun balances next to St Albans Church in Earsdon, North Tyneside.  

The world’s nations have one last chance to slow climate change

Michael McCarthy
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral