Protest rights

The Government should be supporting our right to protest, not shutting it down

Posted on 05 Oct 2021

In response to Priti Patel’s speech at Conservative Party conference, Sam Grant, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Liberty, said:

“No matter who we are, we all want to know we can safely stand up for what we believe in. Today’s speech from the Home Secretary threatens the very core of that belief, giving the police even more powers to stop and search people, and allowing the Government to directly target protesters that they do not agree with and issue unjust fines and sentences.

“Protest is not a gift from the State – it is a fundamental right. The Policing Bill is an attack on the rights of everyone who has a cause they believe in, from climate activists to grieving families looking for answers and justice. Rather than giving the police more stop and search powers that disproportionately affect marginalised communities – Black people are nine times more likely than white people to be stopped, for example – these powers should be significantly rolled back.

“Protest is a core pillar of any healthy democracy. The Government should be supporting this right, not shutting it down.”

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