Can't Stop Social Media-Driven UK Riots? Go After Social Media-Driven Water Gun Fights

from the that'll-teach-'em dept

As UK politicians and law enforcement still argue over things like blocking access to social media or shutting down Blackberry Messenger during times of riots and/or protests, it seems that some UK police know when to just jump right in. They've arrested and charged a guy for daring to organize a water gun fight using Blackberry messenger and Facebook. We're not making this up, though we wish we were:
The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook.

The unnamed man has been charged with "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.

He was arrested with another 20-year-old man the day the water fight was allegedly due to take place, and has been bailed to appear before Colchester magistrates on 1 September.
It's a "serious crime" to organize a water gun fight? Is there no right to bear supersoakers?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 11:53am

    Nope, Mike. There's no right to arm bears, either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    DCL, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:43pm

    Re:

    But when the stand the look like they already have arms... but they are not bare bear arms.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    DCl, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re:

    Insert Fuzzy wuzzy joke here and move on with our lives and the conversation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Armed Bears

    What, ya can't arm bears?

    Well sheee-it that sucks!

    I'm likely gonna get shot trying to take the sniper rifles away from the bears on my property... and they were so happy when I gave them the guns too.

    _sigh_ It's always something.

     

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  5.  
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    DannyB (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:49pm

    Is it a serious crime to organize a pillow fight?

    The UK needs to clarify things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    anonymous disenfranchised Dutch coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

    end of times

    it has nothing to do with blackberry, disenfranchised youth, twitter or supersoakers. it's just the end of an era. now tell your population that it's 476 or 1453 or 1999 AD.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Mike42 (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

    Re: end of times

    The hippies who hated the establishment in the '60's are now the establishment. Cross them, and you get what they got times ten.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    :Lobo Santo (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Re: end of times

    Are you sure about that? 'Cause that's like ALOT of LSD...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:03pm

    Very people know this but V for Vendetta was a documentary.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Donnicton, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    We're the bears that sing for Duke, doo-dah, doo-dah...

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:13pm

    Actually, it would appear to be an issue of lacking a "public assembly" permit. A large scale public event requires a permit and consideration with the local police to insure everyone's safety.

    It's one of the reasons flash mobs are so dangerous, too many people in a place that isn't set up to handle it, without security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Jay (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:22pm

    Re:

    Right... Armed with water guns, they're downright offensive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    jimbo, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

    i wonder when they will arrest kids and parents for buying these 'dangerous weapons'? when will they start banning the sale of said weapons? when will they introduce a new law that states 'no one must use a water gun without a firearms license'?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:27pm

    Re:

    It is a "serious" crime to not file a permit? Gotta love the government!

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Jake, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:28pm

    Oh, this is just the tip of the bloody iceberg. Here:
    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/first-riot-related-eviction-notice-served.html

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

    It's all fun and games until...

    somone gets sick, possibly with pneumonia. This is not as funny as you people think. Water guns these days can hold a lot of water (a lot more than they used too). That water can get people soaked from head to toe. With the days getting shorter and summer coming to an end we all need to recognize the dangers of having wet hair and/or clothes in cold weather.

     

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  17.  
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    Atkray (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:35pm

    Re:

    If you are going to take my home when my kid does something then either you discipline him or keep your nose out when I beat his punk behind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Get advance notice on upcoming Techdirt posts!

    Read almost any other site and you'll get at least a day in which to prepare. Maybe then you could post more than childish one-liners.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    But but but this one time when they went and had a water fight, some dude punched a girl! I saw it on the Murdoch Spin machine. Why he would be upset that some girl would douse him with soda as he happened to be walking through a park is really beyond me.

    Oh and there was a fist fight once...
    And this other time after the fist fight time... they searched people and they found KNIVES!.... on 9 whole people so it was obviously about to decent into the madness of the Jets vs the Sharks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Armed Bears

    Hey hey Boo Boo Bear, let's go down and strafe some pick-a-nick baskets!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    dfed (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

    In other news, rioting in London was empowered today when Riot Police were confronted by large slip 'n slides shuttling the protesters from storefront to storefront.

    Chief Constable Wiggum P. Jackhole was quoted as saying "We were totally distracted by not only how fast they were heading down those slides, but all the young ladies in white shirts zipping by!"

    He added that in the above cases, Riot Police had troubles wielding their nightsticks.

    Prime Minister Cameron has called for a ban on all tight fitting white t-shirts and wet plastic throughout the UK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 1:48pm

    meanwhile, over in the States

    Courts declare that laws banning super soakers filled with hydrochloric acid are unconstitutional.

    FTA - "However, opponents of the ban say a super soaker filled with hydrochloric acid would prove “highly effective” in a number of situations e.g. incapacitating a home intruder, bringing down game on a hunt, overthrowing a tyrannical government – and therefore should be permitted on constitutional grounds."

    I'll see your British WTF and raise.

    http://www.gubuwire.com/?p=811

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Get advance notice on upcoming Techdirt posts!

    Read almost anyone else's posts and you'll get intelligence. Maybe then you could have your sanity intact.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re:

    You tell me how serious it is. Post up your home address, and let's flash mob you a few times to see how much you enjoy it. 20,000 people on your front lawn will make your day.

     

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  25.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    "It's one of the reasons flash mobs are so dangerous, too many people in a place that isn't set up to handle it, without security."

    Oh god. Let's get this one out of the way: "Those who would give up some liberty to gain some security deserve neither and will lose both." (Some guy possibly Benjamin Franklin) Since when is the "free world" the "free world but only if you have a permit"? We need to stop this absurd interference into people's lives. Life is and will always be risky. So let's just accept that stop trying to remove the risk and get on with our lives shooting water guns at each other whether the cops want us to or not!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
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    Rikuo (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Get advance notice on upcoming Techdirt posts!

    What. The. Fuck. Are you talking about? While a bit on the short side, this article is not a one-liner.
    Are you actually complaining that a site that you apparently hate, doesn't update fast enough?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    I am not much for class warfare. I think it's one of mankind's most stupid inventions. However, the UK seems to disagree. What happens if rich people who have their own housing are convicted? You'll ban them from shoddy government provided housing? I'm sure that will teach them a useful lesson!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    The Incoherent One (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: end of times

    :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    icon
    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:17pm

    Re: meanwhile, over in the States

    Argh! Apparently this article is the one under which I break! This is stupid! In the US, I am allowed to carry a real gun! You know, the one kind that projects small metallic objects at supersonic speeds hundreds of meters away and can kill people! Who is the idiot who thought that supersoakers filled with acid would be more of a threat than guns?!?!?!?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: meanwhile, over in the States

    Oh and I read the article. The debt collector who carries a supersoaker filled with acid is a sick bastard not to mention an idiot. Who will look the fool when his acid-gun leaks all over his hands?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Alien Bard, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    My town has already outlawed air rifles, paint guns, bow & arrows, and even sling shots (including on the surrounding farm lands). Water guns are a pretty small step from there.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re:

    > A large scale public event requires a permit
    > and consideration with the local police to
    > insure everyone's safety.

    I'm so sick of every government everywhere justifying their oppressive actions and micromanagement of every aspect of people's lives in the name of 'safety'.

    I'm a grown adult. I can worry about my own safety, thank you very much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re:

    I'd strongly advise you not to travel in Thailand during the second week of April then.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re:

    One law for rich and poor alike, which prevents them equally from stealing bread or sleeping under bridges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re:

    > If you are going to take my home when my
    > kid does something then either you discipline
    > him or keep your nose out when I beat his punk
    > behind.

    If you're going to live on the backs of the taxpayers in a home that's *not* yours, but rather owned and paid for by the people, then you damn well better make sure you discipline your own kid and make sure he's not out looting and burning down the homes of the people who pay for yours, or live with the consequences.

    And go ahead and beat his ass. I'm with you on that one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: It's all fun and games until...

    Dear lord, I hope you're joking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    1450 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
    Washington D.C., District of Columbia 20230

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
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    Jesse (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:36pm

    Re:

    It's only legal if said pillow fight is taking place at an all girls slumber party and the legislators that drafted the law are invited to attend.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    DogBreath, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re:

    It is a "serious" crime to not file a permit? Gotta love the government!


    If you don't fill out your mandatory "27b stroke 6" form, how do you expect the government to function?

    Once again fantasy has become reality.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
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    Crosbie Fitch (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:42pm

    Re: It's all fun and games until...

    Don't worry, the nice doctors at Guantanamo have been finding out how much water is too much for human lungs to handle.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Joe, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:50pm

    Re: Get advance notice on upcoming Techdirt posts!

    I read this blog for analysis and commentary, not breaking news. Mike freely links to the sites he's referring to and doesn't pretend to be something he's not so I don't see what the issue here is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    EVERYONE MEET THERE TOMORROW AT 7pm!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 2:58pm

    Re: Re:

    That's kind of fucked up. I remember my dad teaching me to make a slingshot and showing me how to bring down varmints with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    CompuSmart, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 3:08pm

    After Such a big riot that took place, authorities must be on a high alarm, and probably on their cop/mind they think that rioters can use nicknames for a true riot, and this one can pass without notice on black berry networks, although they should investigate the facts first before accusing some innocent person that just want to take a gun bath with their pals.

     

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  45.  
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    md1500 (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

    The UK seems to have taken leave of its senses at the moment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

    Re:

    I admit to only briefly reading the article but no where did I see it was a flash mob being organized.

    In fact IIRC the event was some several weeks out, which would make it not a flash mob. Flash Mobs are setup moments before they are meant to happen, not with weeks of planning.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 5:04pm

    Re:

    No they seem to be very on track at the moment.

    When you want to add more restrictions on the people doing so while they are in absolute fear is the best time to do so.

    Do you think the TSA would have ever happened without the fearmongering of the terrorists will win if we don't do this?

    Do you think the warrentless wiretapping would have breezed through without the fear of there are terrorists here right now and they are plotting against us fear card being played?

    We had a riot, if we do not crack down on these unplanned meetups of people, they could descend into an orgy of destruction and burn you out of your home! Now we are here to take care of you, pay no attention to the forced cc on all of your emails. Your a good person you have nothing to worry about, but we need to read all the emails to find the bad people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 6:14pm

    Re: Re:

    And all pillows used in such event retain their complete manufacturer applied tag.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    Any Mouse (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 7:38pm

    Re: Re: Get advance notice on upcoming Techdirt posts!

    OotB is just a troll. It's looking for the comments to its posts. Pay it no mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    Especially not in church.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    chris, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 10:24pm

    Re: Re:

    "Those who would give up some liberty to gain some security deserve neither and will lose both."

    That sounds nice but it's a bit simplistic don't you think? I mean anyone living under anything but complete anarchy has given up some liberty for security.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    chris, Aug 16th, 2011 @ 10:37pm

    Since we know they are monitoring social networks, why don't we create a bunch of fake accounts and announce a bunch of huge permit lacking parties. That could overwhelm them to the point that they stop bothering.

    Also, can you really get in trouble for lacking a permit if the event hasn't occurred yet? Sounds a lot like pre-crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
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    mike allen (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

    the police wanted to grab the weapons as they have no water cannon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 11:44pm

    Re:

    Actually it wasn't a documentary, but a prediction. Glad to see Alan Moore's soothsaying was accurate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 16th, 2011 @ 11:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You have to bear this in mind:

    For some families, the welfare system (including housing) means that you have more household income than working full-time.

    Added to that, that the average income stashed in accounts of the Cabinet members is £500k, which they aren't paying full taxes on, and you can see, at least in part, why people are so upset with the Government over here.

    Punishing those who did criminality? Sure thing. Evicting others for something they personally didn't do? Not so much.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Wet Willie, Aug 17th, 2011 @ 1:29am

    Cop Danger

    I'm glad this doesn't happen in the US, because if things went as they usually do, the cops would mistake the water pistols for real pistols and open fire on the crowd of "aquatic terrorists". It would be bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 2:15am

    Iran

    We compalined when the Iranian government cracked down on water fights.

    Words like sauce goose and gander floating through my head here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    indieThing (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:11am

    Re:

    If only :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    indieThing (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is so stupid, kids do have minds of their own you know. I think our politicians would do a lot better if they remembered what they were like as children.

    If I was gonna get into mischeif when a kid, I did it, and my parents were very strict, you just had to accept the punishment if you got caught.

    No matter how good the parents, some kids are gonna get into trouble, so taking away their housing ain't gonna solve anything except create more homelessness and more street crime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 17th, 2011 @ 7:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I would presume you wouldn't need to file a permit if you were meeting on private property. If the owner of this private property was not aware of the gathering I am sure he would have a good case of trespassing on the mob. Try again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    URallSheep, Aug 23rd, 2011 @ 3:22am

    Re: It's all fun and games until...

    Umm.... You can't get pneumonia from wet hair.....or wet clothes....or any water for that matter....unless maybe you were to breathe in some of the water and it got in to your lungs and then after being in the hospital for a couple days laying on your back around all those germs.....yeah that probably wouldn't happen either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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