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Save the right to protest

Save the Right to Protest!

The Government is trying to take away our democratic freedom to protest.

Our Green Peers, Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett, have been leading opposition in the Lords to this extremely dangerous Bill, which effectively allows the police, acting under instruction from government, the power to stop any protest.

The government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (the Policing Bill) reaches a crucial stage in the House of Lords this month, but many people are not aware that a series of amendments have been slipped into the Bill at a late stage without a proper debate. The amendments include:

  • Criminalise any protest that might interfere with infrastructure such as road, railways, oil refineries, and it could be used to ban protests airport expansions, for example.
  • Criminalise protests who attach themselves to another person, to an object or to land.
  • Greatly expand police ‘stop and search’ powers allowing the policy to stop and search persons or vehicles if suspected that they might be carrying any material to use in prohibited protests. This would also give police the right to stop and search people without suspicion, if they believe that protests will occur in a particular area.

The criminal offences created by the Bill and its amendments carry a maximum sentence of 51 weeks in prison.

These draconian measures would enable the present and future governments to turn the UK into a police state.

The next few days are crucial! The amendments will fall if the Lords vote against them when they consider the Bill at sittings on the 10th, 12th, and 17th January.

Green and Liberal Democrat peers will oppose these amendments. The Labour Party has so far failed to offer strong opposition to the Bill and it’s vital that Labour and independent peers now join other peers to stop these extremely dangerous amendments.

Call for Actions - how to make a difference:

Protest in Westminster – you can join Baroness Jenny Jones, Caroline Lucas and other at the others at the Statue of Suffragette Millicent Garrett Fawcett in Parliament Square at 10am on Wednesday 12th January. If you wish to participate sign up at Eventbrite here. .

Contact your MP and Members of the House of Lords. 

Sign this petition by 38 Degrees calling on the government to stop this attack on our democratic rights.

North Herts and Stevenage Green Party supports the action against the amendments to the Policing Bill that criminalise our democratic right to protest.