Freedom of Speech, pretty important and a cornerstone of a free society, if you lose the right then you don’t live in a democracy. When you lose freedom of Speech, you lose everything; people should have the right to saw what they want unless it breaks the law.
In the case of the prankster convicted of hate crimes after releasing a viral video in which he trains his dog to Sieg Heil, there appears to be an issue, the issue is why was he convicted?
What he did was grossly offensive, but in any crime, the benchmark should be did he have criminal intent, this is called Mens rea.
Having looked at this case in passing, we shouldn’t get tried up with anything else but the facts; and I would suggest that Mark Meechan, who was fined £800 and now has a criminal conviction didn’t meet that benchmark. When I wrote about human rights in the past, you will recall that I have always said that the problem doesn’t exist with the legislation but the judges.
Sheriff Court maybe on the fringes of
civilisation, the Sheriff in this case got it wrong, you have the right in law
to Freedom of Speech; you don’t have a right in law to be offended. It seems
that the Sheriff in this case used his personal opinion to decide that the "gas
the Jews" video was grossly offensive hence guilty.
In other words he erred in law because, the benchmark of Mens rea wasn’t reached, he wandered off the legal beaten track and came to the wrong conclusion. The two-year-old M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi video which I have seen is stupid, but that is the point of the video, its Mark Meechan attempt at comedy.
If we accept Mark Meechan is guilty, do we accept that Mel Brooks is guilty for making the film, The Producers?
Found this online, done by John Barrowman, actor born in
Should we all run to the police and get him arrested next time he sets foot on Scottish soil?
This is the ridiculous position which Mark Meechan’s conviction throws up, whatever the ‘act’ is becomes meaningless, it’s the feelings of the other person being offended, which isn’t how the law is supposed to work.
A public appeal to raise the money needed to fight the case is going live on gofundme.com, the fund-raising website whether you contribute is entirely your affair but this is about the principle of Freedom of Speech which clearly the Sheriff doesn’t get it.
The Washington Post on their YouTube channel has the video; does this lot strike you as an organisation which is anti-Semitic?
Dozens of supporters of Meechan, including former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, were at
Airdrie Sheriff Court for the court
hearing and in ,
hundreds gathered an anti-censorship march in support of Meechan. London
"I think the police have used the Jewish community in this instance to silence people and they've actually tried to tarnish the Jewish community as though they can't take a joke. At worst it is distasteful humour, it certainly is not inciting religious hatred against Jews. Frankie Boyle has said far worse things so why hasn't he been prosecuted?"
You also prosecute, Sacha Baron Cohen should he be immediately be arrested for posting a video of himself singing the song Throw the Jew Down the Well?
Sacha Baron Cohen is jewish, he is an actor who lampoons people as he has done in his movies, he played the "anti-Semitic idiot" Borat in the movie of the same name which some people might find grossly offensive.
his M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi video featuring his pug Buddha as a joke to wind up his
girlfriend, he stuck it up on Youtube and the video got three million views.
People like crude and offensive comedy, when it is unusual and outrageous it
can attract attention.
Sentencing Meechan, Sheriff Derek O'Carroll said the video was grossly offensive and that his girlfriend did not even subscribe to the video channel he posted it on.
You don’t have to subscribe to a channel to watch its contents on Youtube!
"The centrepiece of your video consists of you repeating the phrase 'gas the Jews' over and over again as a command to a dog, which then reacts. Sometimes the phrase is You want to gas the Jews'. You recite 'gas the Jews' in a variety of dramatic ways. 'Gas the Jews' in one form or another is repeated by you 23 times within a few minutes.
This is called a compilation which means, he cut and pasted clips together, therefore the time frame which O'Carroll used as a justification is meaningless.
"You use the command 'Sieg Heil', having trained the dog to raise its paw in response and the video shows a clip of a
rally and a
flashing image of Hitler with strident music. You say the video was only
intended as a joke to upset your girlfriend, whose dog you used, and nothing
more. On the whole evidence, including your own, applying the law as made by Parliament and
interpreted by the most senior courts in this land, I found it proved that the
video you posted, using a public communications network, was grossly offensive
and contained menacing, anti-Semitic and racist material. You deliberately
chose the Holocaust as the theme of the video. You purposely used the command
'gas the Jews' as the centrepiece of what you called the entire joke,
surrounding the 'gas the Jews' centrepiece with Nazi imagery and the 'Seig
Heil' command so there could be no doubt what historical events you were referring
Joe Rogan, the American commentator does a show which he covers this case.
What Sheriff Derek O'Carroll did was a disgrace, his diatribe which he tries to put the blame of on Parliament is pitiful; people fought and died for Freedom of Speech, and here we have someone who destroys that hard fought freedom by doing the wrong thing.
I hope this appeal goes forward, as I mentioned, I don’t see how Sheriff Derek O'Carroll reached the benchmark of Mens rea, there was no ‘guilty mind’ hence there wasn’t a crime.
Finally, here is a sham trial to watch from the Nazis era.
The Campaign for Human Rights at