Blog archive

I was arrested at the last royal wedding. This time, the police must protect our right to protest.

As we are encouraged to deck our streets with bunting, and as our screens fill with footage of monarchists camping outside Windsor Castle, it’s easy to forget that not everybody is overwhelmed with excitement about Harry and Meghan’s nuptials.

For many, like me, it’s a high-profile chance to peacefully express our belief that the monarchy is outdated, undemocratic, and should be abolished.

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The Human Rights Act forces new guidance allowing for prompt burials in line with religious beliefs

It’s a rare moment when Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn are in complete agreement. But on the result of a legal challenge to a senior coroner’s ‘cab-rank’ approach to burial, they’re completely aligned.

The coroner’s first come, first served approach – which saw no burial prioritised over any other – had been widely criticised by Jewish and Muslim communities, whose faiths require speedy burial in order to begin the mourning process.

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Royal Wedding: your protest rights

For many, Saturday’s Royal Wedding will be a chance to celebrate the happy couple – but others will want to use the opportunity to voice their opposition to the continued existence of the monarchy.

Whatever side of the debate you fall on, we should all agree that it’s important to be able to celebrate or protest peacefully and lawfully.

The last Royal Wedding between William and Kate in 2011 saw the police use oppressive tactics to crack down on protesters – even arresting people they knew had no intention of committing any crime.

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Mental Health Awareness Week: How you can defend your rights

This mental health awareness week an estimated one in six people will experience a 'common mental disorder' like depression or anxiety.

Over the course of a year one in four of us will experience a mental health problem and rates of self-harm in the UK are among the highest in Europe. In recent years it’s started to become more acceptable to talk about mental health – but people with mental health problems continue to face serious discrimination and mistreatment.

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“Neither efficient, effective or fair” - where can soldiers turn when things go wrong?

In January, the Armed Forces released a new recruitment campaign designed to show their human side. Soldiers talked about how they feel comfortable in the Army regardless of their gender, religion, sexuality or emotions.

It’s good to see the military attempting to clean up their reputation for having a tough, toxic culture – but in the past it’s been difficult to see if the public rhetoric is matched by real change for real soldiers.

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Sajid Javid can't just change Home Office language - he must challenge a rotten culture

Sajid Javid is going to have to do more than change the language of the Home Office if he is to reverse the effects of the department’s hostile environment policies.

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The Home Office is detaining pregnant women, victims of torture and people with learning difficulties - and they've no idea when they'll be released

In 2017, the Home Office locked up 27,331 people in immigration detention. None of them were given a release date when they arrived in these prison-like centres.

Seven out of 10 were held longer than 28 days, and one person was held for almost five years.

Among them were children, elderly people and survivors of rape, torture and slavery.

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Police and politicians' response to violent crime risks being counter-productive

The tragedy of young deaths on Britain’s streets demands a meaningful response, but politicians and police chiefs are dredging up ominous and discriminatory tactics in the scrabble for solutions.

Stop and search: haemorrhaging trust

In recent months, both the Metropolitan Police Commissioner and London’s Mayor have suggested increasing the use of stop and search may provide an answer to rising knife crime. But the sad irony is that years of discriminatory stops have haemorrhaged community trust, undermining operational policing.

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The hostile environment is everywhere – but we can bring it down

The Government’s hostile environment (or, as ministers have since attempted to rebrand it , ‘compliant environment’) policies aim to make life unbearably difficult for undocumented people in order to deter more migrants coming to the UK and to encourage people to leave.

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A how-to guide to protecting your Facebook data

In the wake of the recent scandal which saw Cambridge Analytica misuse data belonging to 87 million Facebook users, more and more people are realising that the information they’ve shared on the social media platform has been used in a way they didn’t intend.

Lengthy, complex privacy agreements mean very few people have given fully informed consent to the way their data is used – from your name and age through to your political views and relationship status.

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