Freedom to Protest: Resist the Police Bill
1st May - National Day of Action
Join your local protest
Check the map here - around 40 added so far.
NEW: Posters (download to print A4/A3) - We defend our right to protest climate destruction / We defend our right to protest climate destruction (1 May date)
What's it about?
The threshold for prosecuting someone for breaching police conditions imposed on a protest is reduced in the Bill, so that the individual merely "ought to have known" about the conditions' existence, rather than knowingly breaching them, as is the case currently. This places the burden on protesters to find out about such conditions and on organisers to make them known. As a result, many will avoid attending or organising a protest for fear of arrest for breaching a condition that they were unaware of and receiving a criminal record - a chilling effect on protest.
As David Lammy stated in the House of Commons, "By giving the police the discretion to use these powers some of the time, it takes away our freedom all of the time."
The Bill would criminalise the way of life of Gypsy and Traveller communities, also restricting protest camps and deter access to the countryside. This bill would significantly restrict the kind of peaceful protest that was essential in communities resisting - and defeating - fracking.
The Bill was voted through by the House of Commons on Tuesday, with MPs having been given just a week to consider it. It was due to go straight on to Committee Stage, but this has now been delayed until after Easter. This is a direct result of the size of the backlash, putting ministers on the back foot. It is crucial that we keep the pressure up through all means - protests, raising awareness, petitions and lobbying.
Charter for Freedom of Assembly Rights
Campaign against Climate Change supports Netpol's Charter for Freedom of Assembly Rights, which would bring UK policing of protest in line with international guidelines. A petition in support of the Charter and against the Police Bill has so far gathered over 200,000 signatures.
Resources and Campaign Actions
Briefing for MPs (Good Law Project)