UK Anti-protest Police Bill 'that would make a dictator blush' passes Commons vote

SafReb

Well-Known Member
Many of the MPs are in favour of the legislation, though some were "unhappy" with the sections cracking down on protest. And I had trouble finding any articles that has done any proper research or expressed outrage, just muted generic reporting. Unbelievable!

The Labour party are using Sarah Everard's death to oppose it, because it doesn't go far enough for "women rights"!

There were no Tory (Conservative) rebels and only three Tory MPs did not vote either way:
Anne Marie Morris, Desmond Swayne and Charles Walker

I strongly believe that the reasons that governments across the globe allowed the global demonstrations / protests by climate change activists, BLM, Antifa and the "stand down" on US soil on 6th January, was to have an excuse to introduce draconian laws. And ordinary people who were shocked at the behaviour are now in favour of the law. Protests have always been peaceful until these anarchists took over!

Because apparently the new legislation has been "drafted in response to police calls for more powers to act on peaceful protests like those carried out by Extinction Rebellion, which saw activists glue themselves to trains and the ground in Parliament Square."

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More than 700 of the UK’s leading legal academics have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to ditch 'draconian' restrictions on the freedom to demonstrate.

The letter, published in The Independent, sees the signatories, who represent a significant proportion of the UK’s legal scholars and include more than 120 professors of law from universities including Oxford, Cambridge, Durham and York, warn of 'an alarming extension of state control over legal assembly' from measures in the Prime Minister’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The 300-page bill, which was rushed through its second reading in the Commons this week just days after being published, dramatically extends police powers to clamp down on protests and gives Home Secretary Priti Patel the power to define the kind of 'serious disruption' which could lead to demonstrators being arrested and prosecuted.

Under its terms, individuals could be jailed for up to 10 years for causing 'serious annoyance or inconvenience'. Police could impose legally binding restrictions on marches or rallies on the grounds that the noise generated 'may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation' or may 'have a relevant impact on persons in the vicinity of the protest'. And unprecedented new powers could impose controls on protests by a single person.

The signatories claim that such measures represent 'an existential attack on the right to protest'. They point to warnings from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association that the threshold for imposing conditions on public assemblies in England and Wales is already 'too low' and 'does not reflect the strict test of necessity and proportionality' in international conventions.

York University law lecturer Dr Joanna Gilmore, who coordinated the letter, said she had never seen an issue spark such comprehensive concern across university legal departments.

She told The Independent: “Within 24 hours of circulating this letter, we had received more than 700 signatures and the final number could easily reach 1,000. It’s not just the ‘usual suspects’ with a particular interest in the area, it is a real broad opposition among eminent legal scholars across the piece. It is the strongest response I have seen in my career.

It is a mark of concern not only about the bill’s fundamental attack on the right to protest peacefully – which is an absolute right in any democracy – but also about the speed at which this is being rushed through, in the context of a pandemic and without proper consultation. We are not calling for these measures to be amended, we are calling for this part of the bill to be abandoned.”

Despite loud protests form opposition parties and a noisy demonstration outside Parliament, the legislation passed its first hurdle in the Commons by 359 votes to 263 on 17 March without a single Conservative MP rebelling. It now faces further opposition as it passes through remaining stages in the Commons and Lords.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-anti-protest-police-bill-23740625

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...ll-academics-letter-priti-patel-b1818695.html
 
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