The news reports today that the British police have asked for "sweeping new powers" to deal with large scale protests. On their shopping list is a request for covering the face and flag burning to be made illegal. Oh, and the nature of the slogans protestors put on their placards (though how you would police the latter, since it would always be a matter of judgement, I don't know.)
This is what has been happening, subtly (if you're not paying full attention), since those planes went into the twin towers in 2001. Government and other enforcers of authority have been using Terror (or "TAIR" as George Bush pronounces it), as an excuse for furthering a right wing political agenda that existed before the Terror and is an extension of their own misanthropic temperament.
The BBC are presenting this story with images of protests by Muslims earlier in the year about the cartoons of the Prophet, but the laws would have applied, equally, to the demonstrations against the war in Iraq, the anti-globalisation protests, the protests outside animal laboratories, the poll tax demonstrations--I would add the miner's strike of 1985 for those with long memories, but the police beat the living shit out of the strikers then anyway: they didn't need phoney new laws to hide behind.
The police are saying that the public perceive their handling of demonstrations to be "unduly lenient." I don't think you'd find an experienced demonstrator who'd say the same thing.