Activist detained for "overconfident" bearing

Mark Thomas, an activist and a speaker for the Campaign Against Arms Trade, tells how he was detained by police in the London docklands earlier this week to demonstrate at an arms fair. The police's official rationale? Thomas' overconfidence.

As I walked up the entrance ramp I was stopped by police. "I am afraid I can't let you past me until I have searched you, as I have reason to believe that you could have articles intended for criminal damage," said an officer.

"What good reason?" I asked.

"We watched you address the crowd."

"I am being stopped for what I said in a speech?" I spluttered.

"Oh no. Not because of what you said. It is because you look overconfident."

That was the official reason, I was "overconfident"; bless them, they even wrote it on the stop-and-search slip the police have to provide.

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