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Picnic in the Park: Freedom of Association


Picnic in Park FoA thumb

The heatwave in the UK was short-lived, but the heat generated at this windy picnic in the park is evident. Chaired by Rania Hafez, discussion over a picnic in London E5 brings the meaning of Freedom of Association to life. Should the school authorities really be concerned if a child has more than six friends? Should a bus driver be sacked because he is a BNP member? Should the state be allowed to take away someone’s children because of their support for organisations like UKIP? Picnic participants disagree but few want the state to decide who we can be friends with or argue with.

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Related topics: Civil Liberties, Debates, Democracy-Brexit, Social Change

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Agata said:

It is so needed topic related to freedom of association. everyone should be aware of ability to stand up for the rights and opinions one has. It is needed as diversity in every area of life and support of that diversity. People should have a right of free speech, gathering and political association. During variety of debated people are enriching their culture and quality of life.

Serene said:

Very interesting .When you are ingrained with the notion that those who differ from your beliefs threaten you or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies. This has to stop , people should be allowed to make different choices freely.

Louise said:

This demonstrates how the state is increasingly expanding into the private sphere territory, not trusting people to live freely and exercise their moral autonomy. People are allowed to believe in what they want, as our inner lives is not the business of government.

Randolph Ferry said:

It is a little alarming that some of the younger people thought it ok to say that the state had a right to take children away from UKIP parents, sack bus drivers for supporting the BNP and so on. To some of the younger generation, politics must figure very low in their considerations. Glad you made this programme as it will hopefully help to assert the right to freedom of association as a deeply important principle. Well done – shame about the wind.

Dominic said:

Some really good contributions and arguments from picnickers (is that a word?) on windy day in a Hackney park, especially given that ‘freedom of association’ is a bit of a tricky issue and not something most of us think about any more. I really enjoyed the format and look forward to more of the same when the sun comes back and says hello next year.