I hope everyone in the UK catches up on this Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts #PoliceCrackdownBill being rushed through. Unrelated to COVID, it further and permanently restricts our right to protest, with sentences of up to 10 years for causing "serious annoyance" or "inconvenience".
It seems to further restrict even "one-person protests". You can be banned from protesting if you're making too much "noise" or having an "impact [which] may be significant".
Or you know... protesting.
We know why the authoritarian Priti Patel is pushing this through, and who her immediate targets are, having previously called the Black Lives Matter protests "dreadful", and Extinction Rebellion protesters "so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals".
But the right to protest is a human right, and this law reduces everyone's rights. Once our essential rights and civil liberties have been stripped from us, it becomes much harder to win them back.
For those in Scotland - this is relevant to us too. There are transport policing provisions in the Bill which directly impact Scotland which should surely allow our MPs to vote on it, and while Westminster is also our Parliament any restrictions on our human right to protest the actions of our elected representatives impacts us too.
If you're as angry and concerned about this Bill as me, please email and (for those on Twitter) tweet your MP, sign Netpol's petition (https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-the-freedom-to-protest), tell others about it, and generally make as much noise as possible.
It's being debated in Parliament *tomorrow*.
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