Over a dozen British police officers engaged in a “pre-crime” arrest of a university professor and a street theater group yesterday, in what activists called a “Minority Report”-style crackdown ahead of the royal wedding.
Professor Chris Knight, 68, a former anthropology lecturer at the University of East London, had planned to engage in a bit of street theater with a group of activists that were dressed in medieval garb. According to reports, the group had constructed a fake guillotine and planned to stage a mock execution of Prince Andrew Edward, the queen’s second oldest son.
A member of the group who was not arrested told The Guardian that the other two activists police roped in were Camilla Power and Patrick Macroidan.
The police apparently learned of the activists’ plans through surveillance methods, then staged the arrest outside Knight’s home in south east London last night, before the wedding got underway.
A police spokesman told The Guardian they were arrested on the charge of “suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace.”
The group, Meltdown UK, had been planning a “Zombie Wedding” to mark the royals’ festivities.
“RIGHT ROYAL ORGY – RUMPY PUMPY AND GUILLOTINES,” their website declared. “[We'll] have a spanking new working guillotine, which shall be surrounded by all manner of rumpy pumpy on the duvet day of all duvet days, by order of the Government of the Dead… Some Cuts Are Necessary! May Royal Heads Roll!”
The group added that their street theater would be a “non-terrorist event.”
In video published to YouTube, Professor Knight, who now lectures at the University of Comenius in Slovakia, is seen laying down on the pavement, forcing officers to carry him into their vehicle.
Knight lost his tenure at the University of East London in 2009, after he made statements ahead of the G20 meeting in London that management objected to.
He reportedly told a BBC radio station: “We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred from lampposts on April Fool’s Day and I can only say let’s hope they are just effigies. To be honest, if he winds us up any more I’m afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts and let’s hope that that doesn’t actually have to happen.”
This video was published to YouTube by user oldchunkythighs on Thursday, April 28, 2011.
Image credit: Meltdown UK
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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