A Manifesto Event for Freedom
A glass of wine with your picnic? It's against the law
More than 700 “controlled drinking zones” have been set up across England, giving police sweeping powers to confiscate beer and wine from anyone enjoying a quiet outdoor tipple.
Local authorities are introducing the zones at a rate of 100 a year, The Times has learnt. Some cover whole cities, a radical departure from what the law intended.
Once a control zone is in place, police can seize alcohol from anyone who is not on licensed premises, even if the bottles or cans are unopened.
The law made clear that the zones should cover only streets or city centre areas with a record of alcohol-related disorder or nuisance.
There are now 712 zones, some covering vast areas where there is no record of disorder. There are city-wide bans in Coventry and Brighton, which cover even the quietest suburban streets....
Police in Brighton and Hove appear to be the most energetic in the country. Their 45 community support officers are making 25 confiscations a week. The Manifesto Club was inundated with claims of over-zealous enforcement, such as two young women forced to pour away glasses of wine that they were drinking on the beach, and three men having cans of lager confiscated as they stood on the promenade. Researchers observed drinks being confiscated from people having a quiet drink while admiring the plants in the Pavilion Gardens.
To protest at what it considers an excessive approach, the Manifesto Club is hosting a picnic on Brighton beach with alcoholic drinks on Saturday.
ABOUT THE MANIFESTO CLUB
The Manifesto Club campaigns against the hyperregulation of everyday life. We support free movement across borders, free expression and free association. We challenge booze bans, photo bans, vetting and speech codes - all new ways in which the state regulates everyday life on the streets, in workplaces and in our private lives.
We believe that the freedom issues of the twenty-first century cut across old political boundaries, and require new schools of political thought, and new methods of campaigning and organisation.
There is much to celebrate about the contemporary world, but there is also an urgent need to work out how we can take that world forward. Any attempt to transform our society towards a freer, more enlightened future, must begin from the conviction that people have a tremendous capacity to organise their own lives, both individually and collectively. That is why at the Manifesto Club we campaign, write, petition and argue for freedom in everyday life.