Have you heard about the controversial Policing law the government is pushing through Parliament? Between Boris Johnson’s scandals and Omicron dominating the headlines, it’s understandable if you haven’t – and the government wants to keep it that way. Already it’s being described as one of the most serious threats to our civil liberties in recent history.
If passed, this law will hand unprecedented power to the police to clamp down on ‘noisy’ protests and those deemed a ‘nuisance’. The right to peaceful protest is fundamental to a democratic society and something we should be proud of. These proposed powers would make it more difficult for ordinary people – like you and me – to make our voices heard.
The law would also give the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, the power to decide what is a ‘serious annoyance’ and be punishable by up to 10 years in prison. And recent changes to the law directly target climate campaigners. This could silence demonstrations outside the Houses of Parliament and even stop residents from using protest to protect their local communities.
What can we do about it?
You can sign various partitions –
While the media has been absorbed by the parties/meetings/piss-ups taking place within the ranks of the Government, legislation is being introduced which will prevent those people, who may wish to protest at the hypocrisy and crookedness of those supposed to be governing us, from doing so.
Together with legislation designed to stop up to two million people voting – ostensibly to prevent electoral fraud for which there was one prosecution at the last General Election, along with attempts to undermine the role of the judiciary and introduce jail terms for journalists who publish government ‘leaks’, it is clear that we are heading along the road to a Totalitarian state where criticism will be legally repressed.
More information can be found at the links below
Friends of the Earth: Open letter to the Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Justice
Politics Home: The Policing Bill is one of the most serious threats to human rights and civil liberties in the UK’s recent history
New Statesman: Peaceful protest is under threat from the new UK Policing Bill
Conservative Home: Dominic Grieve: The Policing Bill is a threat to our freedom and democracy
The Independent: Faith leaders urge Priti Patel to scrap planned protest crackdown and warn of ‘chilling effect’ on religious expression
The Conversation: The UK’s policing bill will make climate activism almost illegal – just when it’s most needed