Anorak | Breaching The Peace On Public Silences

Breaching The Peace On Public Silences

by | 8th, February 2008


A MINUTE’S silence, if you will, for the eight Manchester United players who perished in 1957.

Eight journalists were among the 23 killed in Munich, and the newspapers may consider a minute’s silence for them, too.

A minute’s silence was tried at Wembley, before England and Switzerland kicked off. The journalists were quiet. But the referee blew his whistle after 27 seconds (Times), 28 seconds (Independent), 23 seconds (Sun). (Watches should be co-ordinated to avoid confusion.)

There were the isolated catcalls in the expensive seats, a few irritating bursts of “Shhhhhhh!”, but the biggest din was made by the German referee blowing his whistle (28 seconds) to get the match going.

The Times wonders if the minute’s silence can be attained this Sunday, when Manchester United play Manchester City and referee Howard Webb “blows his whistle at 1:29 the hour of kick-off, not the lengthening silence.

The pundits will listen out for a “few idiots” breaching the peace. Indeed, the silence has been so talked about, so hyped, that some may find it irresistible to break. Shouting out may appear as an act of rebellion in the face of much right-mindedness and consensual

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