I had to cross the police line this morning.
But before I could cross I had to give my name, my address and my reason for passing.
In the road parallel to ours, a young man had been shot last night. This morning every road leading out from the site was cordoned off, their occupants not free to go about their business.
I don’t know if they have found the man who did the shooting. I hope they do and that they shut him away for several years in a place where he can learn empathy, life skills and qualifications for future work, so that when he emerges he can re-enter society without feeling the need to shoot people. That is, if society lets him.
But that’s far in the future. A future that I hope won’t mean more police lines and less freedom.
What concerns me is that I did not challenge the police officer’s questioning of me. Perhaps because I needed to get to work and decided this was not the best time for rebellion. But when is? And at what point do the requests of our protectors and politicians become so normal that rebellion becomes too difficult to contemplate?
Sensible people would suggest that I pick my battles. But sensible people do not start revolutions. They may take up the slack once change has happened – bringing the necessary bureacracy to a once vibrant and charismatic regime.
Should I have refused to give my details? Or should I post a petition to number10.gov.uk, start a campaign, blog about it?
I fear that bit by bit I am allowing my freedom to be stolen for the sake of tenuous security. I worry that I am allowing my fears to be manipulated for the sake of others’ love of power. I am considering not crossing the police line…