back to article Yorkshire police head off pillow fight anarchy

Police in Leeds narrowly averted a major outbreak of public disorder and non-specific rhinitis this weekend when they convinced the organisers of a mass pillow fight to pull the plug on the Facebook-advertised event. The West Yorkshire city had been almost drowned just a few weeks ago when a flashmob staged a 350-person water …

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Same In Brighton

There was a pie throwing facrbook event planned in Brighton which has also been called off due to police requests, apparently:

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=23549268512

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Coat

"a thousand drink-filled youths fighting each other"

So that's no difference to the outspill from any of the city's larger night clubs of a Friday or Saturday night. Oh but of course... night clubs pay council tax, council tax pays the police (in part), so it's OK for the local plod clear up *that* mess every week.

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Anonymous Coward

40000 at Elland Road?

More like 25000!

http://stats.football365.com/dom/ENG/D2/attend.html

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Not quite the same

"So as long as the 40,000 odd people who occasionally turn up at Leeds United home games never think to pop into a soft furnishings store en route to a game, the citizens of Leeds can sleep easy. "

Leeds United pay a considerable amount to both stewards and the local police to maintain order. Most of the LUFC fans are there to actually watch a football match not engage in antisocial behaviour. Arranging for an unorganised mass brawl (all be it with pillows) is not really the same.

Sensible comment from El Reg again, right up there with The Sun.

p.s I'm not a LUFC fan or from leeds.

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Cherry picking the To-Do list

One ponders what might have been on the police to-do list this week -

1. Catch Muderers

2. Catch Burglers

3. Catch Motorists Speeding

4. File endless paperwork

5. Cover up/fiddle false arrest/complaint figures

6. Monitor Football match

7. Monitor Water Fight

8. Stop Pillow fight

9. Eat Donuts *

10. Sleep on the job *

(list not in order of seriousness, obviously)

My guess is the duty command officer was feeling morbidly lazy and skipped straight to numer 6 onwards.

* for comical reference only. Of course our police forces are diligent and would never slack off.

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Coat

Pillow?

Maybe they thought it was a 'pilau' fight? All that rice in the fountains, could have been a very sticky situation...

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I can see both sides of the argument

It's all a bit of fun till some wankers turn up and start knifing people...

Society sucks...

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Unhappy

Shit scared...

after the blue-nosed invasion of Manchester. Only be a problem if there was going to be 'big screen' coverage that mysteriously went tits-up just before the off.

Bloody killjoys.

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Happy

How many fans? 40,00?!

They'd love that! Once or twice maybe, but I bet the average doesn't peek anywhere near 30,000!

Anyway, since we nicked that nasty five-footer Wise from them, the Leeds faithful need pillows for the matches.

/Newcastle Blog

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Anonymous Coward

They should do it anyway

They should ignore the police bullying, and do it anyway, because every time you let them get away with this, you lose one more freedom.

Sure it's a minor freedom, 'the right to advertise a pillow fight', but there's always joyless bitter people who will hypothesize bad outcomes and claim they are protecting people from themselves. You can't let them get away with it.

I once saw a police officer stop a child who was skipping along the pavement, and tell him not to skip because he might trip on the pavement and hurt himself. I think if you want to join such a police force, you have to be prepared to live the life where ordinary people despise you for the endless petty rules you make up and enforce.

"Arranging for an unorganised mass brawl (all be it with pillows) is not really the same."

If you think that don't attend. Don't impose your bitter sad life on others, Mr AC. This is the UK not China.

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Black Helicopters

Positive Liberty

I though that everything was aloud, unless it was specifically banned http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_liberty

Or are we now in the utopia ZaNuLabour always wanted http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_liberty

The scary thing is this is what the ZaNuLabour project was based on.

(AC because I have run out of tin foil!)

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Joke

entry 11

Learn to read/count/think/pick own nose without having to sit down first*

(delete any if they are considered to be not applicable)

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Stop

"we're not able to police".... bitch whine...

"The last thing we want is for a thousand drink-filled youths fighting each other and getting the wrong idea. That could turn into something a lot more awful that we're not able to sort of police."

Yeah, I know. They can't handle a handful of them at a time yelling "come on then!!" at each other on a Friday night outside Majestyx*, so what hope would they have of battering into submission, sorry, "policing" a thousand or more people at once?

* I used to live in Leeds. Whenever the police turned up to a fracas, they always seemed to either:

a: if dressed in riot gear, hit everyone in the immediate areas with truncheons, regardless of the person's behaviour (e.g. a girl trying to stop her boyfriend bleeding out by staunching a knife wound who was clouted round the head with a truncheon for "resisting arrest")

b: if not equipped with shields etc, use the Sam Vimes method - wait until everyone was either scarpered or unable to move, and arrest the latter.

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How about ..

.. if they decide that several hundred people getting together to discuss politics in Westminster poses 'an unacceptable risk to public order'? Especially as those participating hold demonstrably different, and often seriously opposing, political views. One can probably throw 'drink-fuelled' into the closure order as well, if it would have been a late-night sitting.

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A pedant writes...

It does say "40,000 odd people who occasionally turn up". The last 2 games at Elland Rd had attendances of 38256 and 36297, which is closer enough to 40000 than 25000.

Whichever way you look at it, it's not bad for a team languishing in the third level of English football, with an average attendance higher than 6 of the Premier League clubs...

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I'm, like, sort-of laughing.

Classic soundbite: "there'll be a situation we'll be unable to sort of police.."

"Sort-of" policing is a new government initiative aimed at removing police from our streets. It will be followed by phase two, which will be the roll-out of "sort-of" government. Some would say that this policy is already successful, as we've had a sort-of government for years already.

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Anonymous Coward

Translation

"a spokesman insisted the force did not want to oppress people or run “a police state”."

Translated - "We are running a police state. People do as we tell them; or they'll get stuffed in a manner different to their pillows."

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Anonymous Coward

misunderstood title ...

At first glance I thought the story was going to be about Yorkshire Police getting their collective heads off their pillows and going out to fight anarchy ... I must have imagined the punctuation in "Yorkshire police: head off pillow, fight anarchy"

Shame that - it would have made more sense

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Police Killjoys

Not only content with banning pillow fights, the Police have been instrumental in the cancellation of several other long-running events such as the Welsh National Bike Show and the Rock and Blues Custom Bike Show and they're currently trying to stop the Bulldog Bash from going ahead in a knee-jerk response to the shooting that happened last year.

There was also a cycle road race which was cancelled after running for 50 years because "it is not the policy of Thames Valley Police to provide support for events on public roads".

In the mean time, they're also clamping down on motorcyclists on the roads to "prevent deaths" but, oddly, I don't hear about a similar clampdown on car drivers without insurance or driving whilst disqualified or using mobile phones, all of which are responsible for many more deaths.

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Anonymous Coward

Police- Pah

Just do it anyway, they've already said they can't police it so what are they going to do.

A mate of mine had his car broken into a few weeks ago and after calling the Police they finally turned up 8 days later.

With response times like that the only thing they'll be able to do about a mass pillow fight is pick up any feathers that are left.

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@Crawshaw--2 Articles 2 Pratchett References

My day just keeps getting better.

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Black Helicopters

Is there nothing to do in the UK?

Flashcrowds seem to be a result of extreme boredom. Of course, the Police cannot stop them and the flashcrowds will soon grow into a major public menace.....

Helicopter, 'cause that's how the Police will respond.

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Coat

@Cherry picking the To-Do list -

you missed 11 and 12

1. Catch Muderers

2. Catch Burglers

3. Catch Motorists Speeding

4. File endless paperwork

5. Cover up/fiddle false arrest/complaint figures

6. Monitor Football match

7. Monitor Water Fight

8. Stop Pillow fight

9. Eat Donuts *

10. Sleep on the job *

11. ???

12. PROFIT!

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President for life

It's only funny until somebody gets hurt; then it's hilarious!

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Re:Both Sides Of the Argument

"It's all a bit of fun till some wankers turn up and start knifing people..."

Well it IS Leeds after all......

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Black Helicopters

NuLab Policy Directive #453,189.e

Dear Mr Phillips,

It has come to the attention of the Department of Culture, Media, Sport, Computer Games, Sex, And General Pleasurable Pastimes that you, Mr John Phillips (ID #29,856,124) were in the act of planning a spontaneous gathering of 4 people, namely yourself, Mr Gareth Miller (ID #78,124,389), Ms Sarah Dawson (ID #14,921,932) and Ms Rachel Smith (ID #43,201,812) to take place at the establishment known as the Fox and Hound at around 8pm on the evening of Tuesday 20th May 2008.

We remind you that such outbreaks of unregulated enjoyment frequently involve behaviour detrimental to society, including, but not limited to:

- the consumption of alcohol without regard to your current daily intake limits, as set by the Undersecretary for Alcohol, who happens to be a mad Chinese fortune teller. Today your lucky numbers are 2, 4, 7, and 19.

- the pursuit of discussions and arguments on issues such as popular sport, politics and culture. We remind you that none of you are in possession of official licences to pundit, commentate, muse, expound or otherwise deliberate, and such adversarial behaviour may lead to societal disharmony.

- the initiation of romantic relationships whose compatibility has not been pre-assessed by an approved social networking site, risking frustration, disappointment and STDs.

Moreover, such gatherings may escalate into violence and alcohol poisoning, creating an unacceptable burden on our police force and health service. Maintaining public order and healing the sick are a distraction from their crucial work of filling in forms and providing the Politburo with much-needed photo opportunities.

We have therefore taken the decision to cancel your planned social event. The DCMSCGSAGPP naturally has no problem with people having fun, but we are concerned that it may escalate into something worse, such as people having fun. As an alternative way to pass the evening, we suggest more socially acceptable pastimes such as a spontaneous demonstration in favour of the government, a meeting of your local book club where they will be discussing how they may apply the lessons in Gordon Brown's "Courage: Eight Portraits" to their daily lives, or taking a fourth part-time job to boost the British economy (which is in excellent health and well-placed to prosper in the coming armageddon).

We appreciate your co-operation in this matter, because we have not yet been able to fit Tasers to CCTV cameras and preventing your gathering would require us to haul our useless fat lazy pus-filled parasitic Stalinist scum-sucking jobsworthing obsolete fucking arses out of our control centres.

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No fun

So we cant even have fun now IN CASE something bad happens!!

We're doomed...

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What next?

Are pillows now going to be proscibed under offensive weapons legislation?

Schedule 1 Pillows. foam and soft particle-filled pillows, not exceeding 500grammes in weight.

Schedule 2 Pillows. Duck and other feather pillows, not exceeding 750grammes in weight.

Schedule 3 Pillows. Memory foam, solid foam and similar pillows not exceeding 1kg in weight.

ALL other pillows are banned. All pillows must have a soft, cotton exterior lining and be fully fire-retardant.

They'll probably set up a dept headed by a "Soft Furnishings Secretary" to erradicate the "Problem". It's great, choose a problem that doesn't exist in the first place and you cannot FAIL to "Solve" it!

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