The right to peaceful protest is the cornerstone of a democracy and is essential to maintaining good order in any country.
The minute this right is taken away from citizens, that country ceases to be a democracy and authoritarian rule soon takes over. Members of the public find themselves not only denied the right to protest peacefully but also denied the right to speak freely and criticise those in authority.
That could never happen in Scotland could it?
It just did.
The Scottish Defence League recently tried to hold a rally in Glasgow. As is usual when organisations like the SDL hold a rally, an opposing Anti-Fascist campaign was also planned as a counter-demonstration. OK, so no surprises there.
However Police Scotland ordered a number of restrictions on the SDL protest only.
The SDL were warned that no more than 100 of their people would be allowed to be at the protest rally. Time restrictions were also put in place as to when the SDL protest could begin and end. If the SDL refused to comply with the restrictions, Police Scotland told them they would be committing an offence and would be arrested.
No such restrictions were placed on the other group, the Anti-Fascists.
Now let me be clear...I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of either the SDL or the AntiFascist movement, so I don't have a horse in this race.
But I have had many experiences dealing with untrustworthy Police Scotland, so this corrupt type of biased behaviour from them is nothing unusual or surprising to me.
It concerns me greatly that Police Scotland have sought to take sides so openly and arrogantly in a political debate by imposing restrictions on one sides right to peaceful protest.
They would do well to heed the classic phrase "I wholly disapprove of what you say and will defend to the death your right to say it".
I remember the days when Police Scotland used to help, support, and protect innocent members of the Scottish public, not target them.
Welcome to the murky world of untrustworthy Police Scotland...where they think nothing of jack-booting all over your rights as a member of the Scottish public to protest peacefully and speak freely.