Megaphone man: I won’t let police bar me from Hampstead
'He does it in Hampstead to wind up local residents', says councillor
14 September, 2017 — By Tom Foot
A MEGAPHONE activist has vowed to return to Hampstead despite being warned by police he could face arrest if he returns with his loudhailer.
Danny Shine is known across north London for attacking big business, consumerism and fast-food shops with soapbox-style speeches, mainly outside high-street chain stores.
His demonstrations are endured by officers policing the hurly burly of Camden Town, but in the quieter streets of Hampstead more forceful action has been planned. A head-to-head between Mr Shine and neighbourhood constable Nick Dayton has developed, with their exchanges uploaded to YouTube by the “social experimentalist”. Mr Shine has now received an official warning that he will be served with a community protection notice if he is heard speaking through his loudhailer anywhere in NW3.
But he insisted last night (Wednesday): “The next stage for me is to carry on doing it. I would love it if they did come and serve me. The whole argument is full of flaws and I seriously doubt whether it would stand up in court.”
Mr Shine said he had been in Hampstead High Street a few days ago on a mission to “wake up the middle classes”. He stood outside confectionery shops urging shoppers “not to buy cake and sweets simply to make themselves feel better”. He said: “I was talking about acceptance, about how accepting yourself is the answer to your problems. Cakes and sweets are not the answer – what you need is acceptance in life.” Mr Shine said he and his megaphone had never faced being banned from an area indefinitely, although he had once been outlawed from King’s Lynn in Norfolk for a day.
A video released by Danny Shine
His appearances, however, have led to complaints.
Hampstead Town ward councillor Oliver Cooper, a Conservative, said: “Hampstead village is, despite the shops, fundamentally a residential area – unlike Oxford Street or Camden High Street – and using a megaphone there is completely inappropriate. By Danny’s own admission when I talked to him, he does it in Hampstead to wind up local residents. When that’s the case, it’s not a legitimate means of expressing oneself, but just being anti-social – and the police are right to use the powers they have to clamp down on anti-social behaviour that is persistent, unreasonable and harmful to others’ quality of life.”
Cllr Cooper added that he “quite liked talking to Danny in person, and he has some interesting views, but he needs to find a way to express them”.
In his latest film, released last week, Mr Shine talks directly to the camera from a holiday resort, reading out the email from police.
The warning said: “You are now being instructed not to use your megaphone within the NW3 postcode area… If you have a message to deliver that does not cause distress to individuals – please leave your megaphone at home.” It adds: “Your freedom of speech is not being curtailed, just the manner in which you are seeking to deliver it.”
PC Nick Dayton had noted Mr Shine’s “regular visits” to Hampstead, which were having a “detrimental effect” on the quality of life of residents and businesses.
PC Dayton could not be reached this week, but last autumn he said in a bulletin to Hampstead residents: “I have been alerted to a seasonal return of ‘Mr Megaphone’, who has been making some quite objectionable statements outside one of the businesses in the village. I would like to curtail his activity before the Christmas shoppers come to Hampstead.”