”Defiance Day” groot succes

1 juli is de dag waarop in Engeland het rookverbod is ingegaan. Pub-eigenaren en rokers met medestanders hadden deze dag uitgeroepen als “Dag van de burgelijke ongehoorzaamheid”. Er zou gewoon doorgerookt worden in de pubs.

Blad Tolstoy, een anti-antiroken activist, was in de pub van Nick Hogan, de bareigenaar die als eerste verzet aankondigde tegen het rookverbod. Het was druk, volgens Blad, erg druk met op zaterdagavond een pub volgepakt met 700 mensen uit het gehele Verenigd Koninkrijk: vanuit Engeland, Schotland, Wales en zelfs Noord-Ierland waren mensen naar deze pub in Bolton (Lancashire) gekomen om met hun aanwezigheid te tonen dat het verzet groot is. Maar ook de pers was in grote hoeveelheid aanwezig.

Net zoals drie anti-rokers waarvan er eentje letterlijk aan den lijve ondervond hoe het is om uit een geliefde plek te worden gepest…..

Day of Defiance at Bolton on 1/7/09

I attended Freedom to Choose’s second Day of Defiance at The Swan pub, Churchgate, Bolton, Lancashire, UK on 1st July 2007 and what a great event it was.  Well, I say what a great event it was, but in fact it’s due to continue until 4 am tomorrow morning (July 2nd).

Nick Hogan, the landlord, reported that on the evening and night of 30th June his establishment was almost completely packed with about 700 attending and following on from a briefing provided earlier in the day for other pub landlords and the press.

To-day’s event commenced at about 12 midday and by about 2 pm the Swan was pleasantly filled with a fluctuating crowd of about 300 people from all over the UK.  Freedom to Choose members were drawn from Scotland (quite a few) and Wales with one even turning up from Northern Ireland.  English locations represented were: Nottingham, Leicester, Cambridge, Peterborough, Bolton and Manchester.

There were also a lot of non Freedom to Choose members too (and of course) and some had come specially from Manchester and other towns and cities surrounding Bolton to attend the event.

There was a superb traditional jazz band which played throughout most of the afternoon and a particularly colourful performance was given by the Accrington Scottish Pipe Band which was most stirring for the soul.

The press appeared to be there in abundance as well although this writer studiously avoided them preferring instead to leave the task of speaking to them to others more gifted in that department.  Some of the “defiers” even wore imaginative rigouts with a cowboy flavour which provided excellent material for press photographs.  It was good too to hear people on mobile phones telling their friends to “come on over as everyone is smoking”.

Furthermore, on more than one occasion I heard non-smoking attendees stating: “everyone should have freedom to choose”.

Nick Hogan also reported that his phone had been ringing continuously with messages of support coming in from all over the world including our colleagues from Hawaii.

The police were great and did not interfere, as promised, and the afternoon proceeded in an orderly fashion (no loutish behaviour at all and everyone friendly).  However, just in case anyone thinks this means the event was dull would be wrong.  It was a good old fashioned type pub event and nothing whatsoever similar to the rather crummy soulless atmospheres of pubs and bars which have been polluted by the policies of antismokerism.

With antismokers in mind, the highlight of the afternoon resulted from the actions of three of them who turned up to try and push their message. One particularly bold woman of uncertain age informed Nick Hogan that she had a right to choose too and that his pub was not, by permitting smoking, allowing her, her choice.  Nick explained that despite the fact The Swan is called a “public house” it is, nevertheless, still  private property in addition to being his home and that he may choose the conditions that prevail there and, moreover, that she was able to choose whether to enter or not.  The antismoker started to become enraged and a little aggressive, in fact she reminded me of an irate turkey with a knitting needle stuck in its bottom.  Nick’s response was to give her a practical lesson in what it means to have one’s freedom of choice truly taken away.  He physically removed her from his premises and told her she was barred!

I haven’t laughed so much for quite some time…


BBC: Smoke ban rebel pub under threat (“Bolton event was a Tobacco Industry stunt”, hoe naief politici kunnen zijn)
ITV: Smokers defy ban
Telegraph: A sneer of petty disapproval posing as law
Telegraph: Thousands defy smoking ban in mass protest

Interessante analyse n.a.v. 1 juli 2007:
Shame, Triumph and Triumphalism

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  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland

  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH