Protest rights

Liberty responds to M25 protest injunction

Posted on 22 Sep 2021

Liberty has responded after Ministers obtained an injunction to prevent protests on the M25.

Sam Grant, Liberty’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, said: “We all want to be able to stand up for what we believe in. Many people don’t have access to the corridors of power and so protest is often the only way to have our voices heard. But the Government and police have consistently – often unlawfully – restricted and repressed protests. By reducing our ability to stand up to power, on the streets, in Parliament and in the Courts, the Government is actually pushing people to new and more urgent ways to make their voices heard.

“The Policing Bill is an attack on our ability to stand up for what we believe in: and will put us at risk of criminalisation for taking part in a noisy and noticeable protest.

“For years, injunctions have been used to by the powerful to stifle dissent and restrict protest rights. The Policing Bill will make this injustice even worse, meaning those in power do not even have to go through the check of securing one to repress the right to protest.

“Ministers should not be picking and choosing which protests are allowed, and police have a legal duty to facilitate, not restrict, the right to protest.

“Protest is not a gift from the state, it’s a fundamental right, and in a democracy being able to protest means being able to stand up to power and hold Governments to account. This Government must respect that, and end its attack on the right to protest for all of us.”

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