Hi all, VP Shrewsbury Adam here. I just wanted to touch base on the events over the last couple of weeks, surrounding the Bill that has recently passed its second reading in the Commons.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill drastically effects the conditions in which we can protest, and ultimately, can control and suffocate a protest at its source.
Protests would need permission in advance, a set start and end time, and a noise limit. Police are also given the power to apply these rules no matter the size of the demonstration, and are able to twist the vague language of the Bill to prevent people occupying public space, and stopping a protest by force, without a sufficient check on this power.
In essence, this Bill attempts to seize our right to protest, and give more power to an already abusive police force.
The authoritarian and purposely vague language used in this Bill is the same language that allowed Home Secretary Priti Patel to call Black Lives Matter protests unlawful. The same language that allowed officers to deem it appropriate to invade Sarah Everards vigil a couple of Saturdays ago.
Ultimately, over the last year, especially in the Summer of 2020 and this past fortnight, the Government has seen the power of the people, and now they aim to choke us into submission.
I have written an open letter to local MP’s regarding this Bill, and showing that as a Students Union we completely condemn these actions. I am hoping to link up with other SU’s nationwide to join this cause and stand to protect our freedoms.
If you would like to sign the letter, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with consent to add your signature.