Whether you agree with the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill or not, RUSHED IN legislation will NOT be subject to the serious scrutiny that is required.
The UK’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will effectively make all protest illegal in the UK. This Bill not only cracks down on Non Violent Direct Action and disruptive protests, but on any protest that the police decide is ‘impactful’… And, well, when was the last time you attended a non-impactful protest?
The Bill gives special powers to the Home Secretary Priti Patel allowing her to redefine terms in the Bill without parliamentary approval. She will be able to decide whether a protest is illegal and no one will be able to contradict her. Bit concerned here…is this not bully tactics?…
And if Priti Patel doesn’t like a protest you’re part of… you might get a ten-year prison sentence. Even if you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Government and much of the billionaire-owned media will try to pass this Bill off as ‘necessary for dealing with extreme protestors’.
In reality, this is a death knell for UK democracy.
Protests that changed the course of history
Think back to the protests that changed the course of history, without which many of us would not have the basics of rights or freedoms. This bill would have meant women would probably NOT have won the right to vote.
View today through a lens where key protests would have been outlawed with the bill proposed.
Plenty have shared on this succinctly – I’ll list just a sample.
- The George Floyd protests
- The March for Science
- The Women’s March on Washington
- The Storming of the Bastille
- Gandhi’s Salt March
- Tiananmen Square
- Berlin Wall Protests
- The Orange Revolution
- Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
- Stop the War
More than 150 organisations have warned ministers that a new law handing police tougher powers to crack down on protesters would be “an attack on some of the most fundamental rights of citizens”. At the time of officers’ handling of a vigil for Sarah Everard continues to draw criticism. (Algretti & Wolfe-Robinson, 2021).
The changes means that in future, protesting policies you disagree with, even peacefully, will come with a greatly increased risk of arrest. Protests will therefore diminish in size, not because the issues are less important, but because people are afraid.
If this sounds troubling to you, please add your organisation to this open letter:
If you want to encourage individual action, that’s here:
Thank you, and in support of Alex Barker, Be More Pirate. We can’t deal with all societies issues at once, and have to pick our causes, but let’s not take away the means for people to fairly, openly and without threat air the issues that matter to them, and stand up to the imposing of restrictions on liberties without debate in parliament.
Algretti , A. & Wolfe-Robinson, M. (2021) ‘New anti-protest bill raises profound concern and alarm, human rights groups say’ , The Guradian, https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/mar/14/new-anti-protest-bill-raises-profound-concern-human-rights-groups-say