The Manifesto Club held a mass boozy picnic in London's Hyde Park on August bank holiday to protest against increasing restrictions on drinking in public places. People were invited to take part in the event on social networking sites including Facebook. The civil liberties group used the picnic to launch a report that claimed drinking had been restricted in 613 public places across England and Wales.
WHAT WAS SAID?
The Manifesto Club claims some police forces and councils are overstepping their legal powers by confiscating drinks and depriving people of the freedom to socialise. The Telegraph quoted the report's author as saying: 'The restriction of public drinking is a litmus test for the state of public freedoms. With the erosion of the right to drink, we see how public space is being organised around the whims of police officers, and less around the desires and morals of free citizens.'
HOW DID THE MEDIA COVER IT?
The Telegraph ran with the headline 'Drinking restricted in 613 public places in England and Wales'. Its story was picked up by trade title The Publican. Society Guardian covered the story under the headline 'Park party plan to protest over booze bans', but it questioned whether the drunken revellers would cause trouble. 'Home Office statistics show that nearly half of all violent crime is linked to alcohol,' it said.