The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
Shakespeare, Hamlet.From The Standard, via NRT:
Idiot Savant at No Right Turn points out that the police (once again1) are violating the law surrounding protest and dissent. The post is reproduced with permission.The basic problem with LPrent and Idiot/Savant is that they apply Brooker as absolute authority without considering that each case turns on its facts. Brooker is not authority that noisy civil protest is not unlawful. From the judgment of Chief Justice Sian Elias:
It is consistent with the right of freedom of expression that restrictions on that right may be imposed where necessary to protect interests such as privacy or residential quiet, as art 19 of the International Covenant permits.And:
The victimisation or bullying inherent in a sustained or intrusive targeted protest against a particular home is likely to disrupt public order in the sense of causing alarm or perception of threat.If it disrupts public order so as to cause alarm, and that is a judgment call only the Police can make, (unless I/S or LPrent would like some other body to make it?) then there is good cause to suspect an offence has been committed and an arrest is justified.
And, critically, from the judgment of Blanchard J:
Where, as here, the behaviour concerned involves a genuine exercise of the right to freedom of expression, the reasonable member of the public may well be expected to bear a somewhat higher level of anxiety or disturbance than would otherwise be the case. This may be necessary to prevent an unjustified limitation of the freedom and is consistent with the purpose of s 6 of the Bill of Rights.I wasn't at Stanley Street and do not know what behaviour transpired so cannot comment on that. But I can safely say that simply because some guy played a guitar outside the house of a cop and woke her up, and was acquitted, doesn't mean that Minto et al can scream, shout, abuse and carry on like cut cats without demur.
There must, however, come a point at which the manner or some other facet of the exercise of the freedom will create such a level of anxiety or disturbance that the behaviour involved becomes disorderly under s 4(1)(a) and, correspondingly, the limit thereby imposed on the freedom becomes justified under s 5. No abstract guidance can be given as to when that level will be reached. That decision is a matter of judgment according to all the relevant circumstances of the individual case.
This approach was endorsed by the majority in Hansen v R  NZSC 7.
That would be, as NRT announces, absolutely outrageous.