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?
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Expat Scots (especially those elsewhere in the UK) could contact Kenny MacAskill.
- 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