1,000 signatures reached
To: Priti Patel
STOP the Anti-Protest Laws
Remove the proposed amendments in Part III of the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill that introduces the term 'impact', imposes restrictions on noise levels and increases the potential for prosecution of protestors.
Why is this important?
The right to protest is a human right. The changes proposed in part III of the Home Office's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (published 9/3/21) will give the police and government powers to silence protests, whether a protest of 1 or a protest of 10,000.
Whereas the previous powers (Public Order Act 1986) have allowed police to restrict demonstrations that risked serious public disruption, serious disorder or serious damage to property, the new bill adds additional justifications for restrictions: noise and the potential for ‘impact’. It also increases the opportunity for protestors to be prosecuted if they fail to comply with restrictions they are unaware of, and in broadening the definition of what constitutes a protest.
Protests are noisy events - they are designed to demonstrate the public's feelings, many of those people may be marginalised from mainstream politics, with this their only way of being heard. They are designed to make an impact! The proposed changes are a clear attempt by the government to prevent dissenting voices being heard.
In addition the changes proposed reduce future scrutiny by parliament through the use of statutory instruments, undermining the democratic process and placing the decision as to whether a protest can go ahead in the hands of the Home Secretary.
These changes restrict the rights and freedoms of people from all sides of the political spectrum to assert their human and democratic right to protest.
The Bill has its second reading in the House of Commons on Monday 15th and the first vote on Tuesday 16th March - urgent action is required. Please sign, share and write to your MP (link below).
Links & photo credit:
4. Photo: Police Barricade, Parliament Square cc-by-sa/2.0 - © Nigel Mykura - geograph.org.uk/p/2327817