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Jon Elliott, the man who put a stink bomb into the ballot box during the last election, has had his sentence increased, from a curfew, to six weeks in prison.

He’s been in the news a lot lately. First of all he was bound over to keep the peace, having rushed at Prince Charles’ car before the ceremony of enthronement for the new Archbishop of Canterbury in March this year.

He got in all the national newspapers for that. He was described as “lunging” at the car, but Jon says he thought it was David Cameron, and he was trying to put a leaflet on the windscreen.

After that he was given a split curfew for the stink bomb protest. He was only allowed to leave the house between twelve noon and six pm, and then again after ten pm, which was effectively an eighteen hour curfew. The man who put on his tag said it was the strangest sentence he’d ever heard of.

When Jon went to appeal, the judge decided to increase his sentence instead, describing the protest as “a dangerous political act”.

Pardon? It was a stink bomb. He was hoping to kick up a stink about the state of our democracy. Unfortunately the ballot counter who found the offending item mistook it for poison – Sarin gas and terrorism having been in the news lately – which undoubtedly gave her a fright, for which Jon apologised.

The worst you can say about it is that it was a little bit thoughtless, that’s all. Maybe he would have done better to have exploded the stink bomb in the box, thus making the terms of his protest clear.

At this point I would like to make something clear. Jon is a friend of mine. He is not “dangerous”: he is passionate. He is not “jobless”: he is disabled. He is a big-hearted warrior for a better world, but he could never do any harm, as anyone who has met him will confirm.

It’s funny that, while the war-criminals go free and even thrive in this world, it’s the protesters who end up in prison.

From The Whitstable Gazette.
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