Followup on Edinburgh Police Harassment

Unsurprisingly, yesterday’s post on a preacher being harassed by the Edinburgh police drew some attention.  Brother Al (alcoramdeo) asked some questions in the comments which I had also been asked via email.  I thought I would answer on the front page.

Have you brought this matter to the direct attention of the Scottish Police?

If so, in what way?

Have you directly asked your questions of the Scottish Justice Secretary to him?

Have you in any way approached the local or national news media with this matter?

If not, has anyone you know of done any of these things?

Scottish Police

A) I contacted them through their contact page first thing yesterday morning.  I asked if they had any response.  I also said I would post any statement they wish to make prominently and in full.  They have not yet even acknowledged my note.

B) A formal complaint has to come from those affected, either Don Karns or the brother holding the camera.  Since the officer used force against the man holding the camera, that is probably both a criminal and civil matter.  Dale McAlpine says the officer pulled out the amplifier cord before the video.  I think that also is a crime, but these men would have to file a formal complaint.  I believe they should do so.

Justice Secretary

A) I sent an email yesterday morning asking him to respond.  I also said I would post any statement prominently and in full.  My email has not yet been acknowledged.

B) UK Fred posted on this and contacted Kenny MacAskill using his contact page.  The text of his message is in the comments on his post.  He received an acknowledgment of receipt.

Press

A) Yesterday, I contacted the Scotsman, the major Edinburgh paper.  No response as yet.

B) I also contacted the Dundee Courier.  They are local-focused, but do cover some national stories.

C) A particular tabloid would probably cover this, but I’m not sure Christians should seek or even want the help of that newspaper.

D) The chances are nil that the BBC would cover this unless others took up the story.  I did not even bother to contact them.

Further Actions?

  1. If I do not hear from Kenny MacAskill, I will probably contact my local MSP.  Beyond that, I am unlikely to do more besides provide news here and perhaps go preach at the Covenanter’s Memorial (with recorder and cameras!).  I’ve got too many responsibilities to make this a major focus.
  2. Dale and Fred posted on this (links above).  News For Christians linked to my post yesterday.  Since the press is (so far) ignoring this, further Internet publicity would probably help.
  3. Scottish voters can contact Kenny MacAskill and/or your local MSP.  Perhaps focus on his “guarantee” statement from 2010.  That makes it a little awkward for him to ignore this.  You could also ask if an independent Scotland, which his party supports, would have any substantive guarantees of religious liberty or freedom of speech.
  4. Expat Scots (especially those elsewhere in the UK) could contact Kenny MacAskill.
  5. It would not hurt for the Scotsman to hear from others, especially those in the UK.  I emailed the news desk, but I’m not sure whether that was the best way to contact them.

Dale McAlpine might make further suggestions here or on his own site.  Dale experienced something very similar, and was actually arrested by Cumbria Police, a few years ago.  In his case, fortunately, there was a video of which the police were unaware, which destroyed the trumped-up charges against him.

Dale told me he thought this happened around 25 May.  On 25 May, in the early evening, we took friends to see Greyfriars and the Covenanters Memorial.  It’s a very strange feeling to have been there so close to the time this happened.

There were no preachers there at the time, but there were some young women who had obviously been drinking for a while, even though it was still early in the evening.  It was not a happy scene, and less happy now that I know about this event.

It appears debauchery is welcome at the Edinburgh Covenanters Memorial, but the Word of God is not.

Update 21 June: Cameraman Account

Update 5 July: Arrest in London

About Jon Gleason

Pastor of Free Baptist Church of Glenrothes
This entry was posted in Thoughts on the News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Followup on Edinburgh Police Harassment

  1. alcoramdeo says:

    Thank you, Brother Jon, for having taken such thorough steps and for reporting them to us.

    Here in the USA recently it was the eventual viral internet coverage that broke the liberal media blockade against reporting the Kermit Gosnell abortion clinic murders trial in Philadelphia. Once the ball got rolling the media were falling over themselves to be first with the latest.

    It may be well for someone to report this incident to the BBC via traceable communication if for no other reason than to later hold them accountable for not having responded.

    God bless you, Brother, in your concern and responsible involvement in this matter.

    Prayer for wisdom, grace, courage, and love are in order for us all in these and in all days.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you, Brother Al. Perhaps we should contact the BBC. I’ll pray on that.

      Of course, our reliance is on God. But He can, and often does, use the press, the politicians, and the police

  2. Hello Brother, thanks for your efforts on this , I have nothing much more to add except to say that I contacted the Christian Institute and sent them a link to the video, this was late Friday and they are closed for the weekend so hopefully I will hear from them on Monday.

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thank you, Dale. I also contacted them, and got a “we read everything” acknowledgement of receipt, but no substantive response yet. If they will pick it up and publicise it, the press will most likely cover it.

  3. Andrew says:

    Hi, despite the Lancashire police force having to make a grovelling apology to a Christian Cafe owner a couple of years ago for a similar thing, (see link at bottom) sadly this is still going on. That got huge coverage by the Daily Mail though so it may be worth contacting them. It seems making malicous charges against God’s people is in vogue and the Police automatically assume the guilt of the accused without any shred of any investigation and always side with accuser depsite it being a crime to mislead the police for malicious intent and wasting police time.
    Thanks brother Dale, i hope you can find comfort in knowing it’s a blessing to persecuted for the Lord’s sake. This is further evidence they are increasingly using so-called “hate” laws against Christians and calling what is good evil and what is evil good.
    (note from Jon — the Daily Mail is likely to have pictures on the sidebar that we could do without, so be warned if you click the link)
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2046959/Police-say-sorry-cafe-owner-threatened-arrest-Bible-DVDs.html

    • Jon Gleason says:

      Thanks, Andrew, good comment on several levels.

      I remember that case.

      Yes, it is a blessing, and not a surprise, to be persecuted. But Paul appealed to Caesar, using his rights as a citizen to protect his ability to proclaim the Word.

      So it is important for us to keep perspective. We aren’t concerned about suffering for the Lord — that’s going to happen, anyway. But we don’t want the Gospel to be hindered, and we can and should use legal means at our disposal to prevent that happening.

  4. ukfred says:

    Hi Jon

    I had an acknowledgement timed at 11:13 Thursday 2-th June 2013 from Thomas Hastie of the Ministerial Correspondence Unit promising a reply “as soon as possible”.

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