Just cause, unjust method

April 4, 2013

One looks to the humanities and the social sciences for rational analysis of human affairs. How astonishing, then, that a dean of arts and social sciences cannot distinguish between the justice of a cause and the criminality of resorting to violence in the course of that protest (“Courage and convictions”, 21 March).

The police officer who allegedly inflicted life-threatening injuries on Alfie Meadows may have grossly overreacted, but the same cannot be said of the judges who imposed exemplary sentences on Edward Woollard and others for dangerous acts of violence.

Martin McQuillan seems unable to distinguish between violent protest in a democracy and peaceful protest against dictatorships.

Julian Newman
Edinburgh

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