The Police Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill
You may have seen us out on the streets of Exeter protesting against the Police Crimes, Sentencing and Courts Bill and wondered what all the fuss is about. This bill not only stomps all over the human right to be able to protest but also the human right to a family life of people that do not want to live as society dictates. It is a giant step towards the United Kingdom becoming a police state – this is not mere hyperbole, the police will be able to arrest everyone that turns up to a protest that they deem may become too disruptive or noisy without having to ensure that protester is aware that conditions have been imposed on the protest.
This Bill is being pushed by Priti Patel in response to the Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter protests over last couple of years as well as the Sarah Everard vigil. At all of these the police have acted illegally at the instigation of the government. They want to be able to legalise these attacks on the public.
This Bill particularly affects minorities especially Travellers and will legitimise the institutionalised racism in the police.
Protest is an integral part of a democracy and enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (yep it still applies after Brexit) and UK Law as explained in detail here. Peaceful protest has been an essential means of doing away with social injustice and exploitation, it is how women got the vote, how peace finally came to Northern Ireland, how civil rights were attained for minorities in the US, how Gandhi attained independence for India as well as many other important issues. The UK Parliament were the first to declare a Climate Emergency only because of the April 2019 Rebellion, the global BLM movement has raised the issue of racism throughout much of the world. We must be allowed to continue to bring attention to important issues that the government have no intention of addressing.
Joint Statement from Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion and many others.