Protest rights

Liberty responds to jailing of nine Insulate Britain activists

Posted on 17 Nov 2021

The sentences handed down today are disproportionate and another threat to protest rights for all of us.

Liberty has responded to news that nine Insulate Britain activists have been jailed for breaching an injunction, receiving sentences for between three and six months.

Gracie Bradley, Liberty interim director, said: “We should all be able to stand up for what we believe, but when the means to do so are continually narrowed – whether that be at the ballot box, in the courts or in the streets – people will take to more urgent routes. While Insulate Britain knew that by breaching the injunction they risked jail, these sentences clearly are disproportionate and another threat to protest rights for all of us.

“For years, injunctions have been used to by the powerful to stifle dissent and restrict protest rights, while demonstrators have been demonised. The impact has been stifling free expression, undermining the ability of all of us to stand up for what we believe in – particularly people from marginalised communities who are most cut off from the corridors of power. Today’s sentences must be seen in the context of the expansive and oppressive powers in the Policing Bill, itself a grab for more power by a Government that despises scrutiny and accountability.

“The right to protest protects all of us and is the cornerstone of a healthy democracy. We must not allow those in power to demonise demonstrators in a cynical attempt to silence us all.”


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