New police bill could make activist protests illegal in UK


It’s time to wake up and feel laboratory-grown coffee, and while you wake up to somehow forget to do its job and let you sleep some more, your utopian paradise is about to be ruined by the harsh reality that climate protesters fight to unveil. Isolate Brittany, the perceived threat to our new normal is in fact trying to prevent the slow and painful death of our planet due to global warming and the darkening of the planet. They come waving their banners and shouting their slogans in the streets and you cannot get your precious few minutes of rest back. Now, while that rather embarrassing image may get under your skin, are a few people trying to push for change during your morning commute to criminal charges and jail?

As part of his attempt to reach zero net emissions by 2050, the British government has proposed amendments to his already “draconian“Police Bill. This week has already got us squinting at number 10’s decisions thanks to a crackdown on cocaine users, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who reeks of hypocrisy. The new amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will directly target environmental activists in an attempt to respond to direct action protests from groups such as Extinction Rebellion (which has been heavily criticized in the past for its lack of diversity), isolate Great Britain and STOP HS2, the national campaign group opposing the High Speed ​​2 railway project in England. Needing more than a little refreshment, these bands don’t have the best reputation. Isolating Britain has already caused a stir this year, with protesters being stopped left and right in pursuit of their cause.

The bill was first introduced in the House of Commons in March 2021 following the Black lives matter (BLM) protests. The changes allow police to make arrests when demonstrators “threaten public order or prevent people from going about their daily lives.” The new changes proposed under the expansive catch-all definition violate essential democratic and civil freedoms such as the right to protest at the worst possible time, when protest is most needed.

In these unprecedented times of COVID-19 restrictions and growing concerns about climate change – and you know, the possibility that the world will end in our lifetime – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has repeatedly warned that a radical change to the status quo is exactly what we need. This bill has puzzling parallels with the ‘Green fear2000s era in the United States, after a series of arson attacks on a Colorado ski resort led by the group Land Liberation Front (ELF) led Elf environmental activists to be criminalized and labeled as the main national eco-terrorist threat by the FBI in 2001.

We already know that overseas the US government has managed to squeeze in larger police presences and acquire military vehicles. under cover of protection against blizzards and storms. During an already trying time full of wrongdoing, at the hands of law enforcement, calls from the public to fund the police contrasts with the institutional push for the militarization of the police. With the recent rejection of a new defense task force in Minneapolis, after a year of promises in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the BLM protests, it seems we are bound by a deal with the continued police presence rather than listening to public concerns.

A recent article by The Guardian took note of an activist, Ben Taylor, who claimed the arrests would only trigger Following roadblocks at a UK High Court address in November – so you have to wait that out on your morning commute to work. Taylor was one of nine activists who took part in a blockade at junction 25 of the M25 during the morning rush hour on October 8. His incendiary call to arms – in which he said he would “get out and block the highway at the first opportunity” – prompted the decision to give it a longer sentence.

However, we entered a “Red code”In more ways than one, because this problem is not limited to your detour to the office. While many may feel embarrassed by the small-scale protesters, the laws surrounding their judicial treatment as well as changes to their rights are becoming increasingly alarming.

Despite months of growing opposition this year, the UK government has yet again decided to update its law enforcement and activism laws. Earlier in July, fears of “draconian” policing rules raised concerns about human rights violations and the need for such intensive policing. The bill put in place proposed restrictions on noise-based protests and banned protests by single people, essentially making anything considered a “public nuisance” a criminal offense.

The new proposed changes to the bill are still troubling. On the one hand, the very purpose of protest is to disrupt and bring about change through that disruption. Nonviolent direct actions such as roadblocks and civil disobedience are essential to the cause of social and environmental movements. These tactics are designed to be rebellious and earthy in order to emphasize the urgency of a particular problem. Think Musical High School, if Troy had just strapped in and been content to be a baller, we wouldn’t have had the sequels gems. Not that the imminence judgment Day and the destruction of our planet is like a high school student who wants to sing, but regardless of apples and oranges, it always expresses my point of view: we need change in order to see cash.

One of the most controversial protest strategies is locks– when activists literally lock themselves on railings or buildings – and often seem the reference to times that require extreme measures. When all else fails (voting, lobbying and other traditional modes of political participation) prove ineffective or take too long to get things done, such interventionist strategies are usually deployed.

Some protesters and activists might argue that climate change is a matter of sufficient urgency for this course of action: after decades of international negotiations and backtracking, and Following negotiations and Following is backing down – and despite dramatic declines in socio-economic activity spurred by a global pandemic, the world is still on track to achieve 2.4 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100.

When the bill was first imposed in 2020, its main purpose was to add “noise” to the list of offenses that may be subject to intervention under the 1986 Act. public order as well as new Serious Disturbance Prevention Orders. It has made it possible to prohibit or restrict any demonstration considered to be a risk of “serious public disorder” and can be imposed on people who have already been sentenced what the amendment calls a “demonstration offense”. It grants a worrying margin of appreciation to the police: if they think that a person nearby could be “distressed” by a demonstration, they have reasons to intervene.

The most recent amendments made their way (at the last minute may I add) as the bill passed through the House of Lords, and Home Secretary Priti Patel led the prosecution . Sure. The move directly follows the tumultuous tactics of Insulate Britain, which blocked major highways as they approached the COP26 Climate Summit. Even before the changes were proposed, more than 600,000 people signed a petition against her, while more than 350 charities and 700 academics have written letters calling for its deletion. Even former police chiefs have come forward to warn against the bill saying it threatens democracy, reinforces the already widespread problem of racial discrimination and violates the professional duties of hundreds of public sector employees.

The British Parliament’s Joint Human Rights Committee has previously commented that the plans are “oppressive and false”, with earlier survey numbers showing public anxiety over the limitation of rights to protest.

In The Conversation report, Doctor Heather Alberro—Global Sustainable Development Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University– pointed out that sections 319C to 319F are exceptionally disturbing. Under these sections, police officers can stop and search anybody suspected of potential “public nuisance” or “serious disturbance for two or more persons or for an organization”.

Obviously, this change could easily allow for more abuse of power that minorities have been fighting against for decades and it seems that once again we must be ignored. People who refuse to comply or who engage in tactics so closely tied to activism itself, such as lockdowns and “willful obstruction of highways”, could face a jail term of up to up to 51 weeks.

All of this calls into question the motives of Patel and others and their promises to protect the public, as The Conversation noted that as many as 40 new fossil fuel projects in the UK are currently in the air. Instead of devoting their resources to curbing the activities of the major fossil companies, which knowingly contribute more than a third of modern greenhouse gas emissions, the presence of the police has always been the priority.

Maybe it really is time for us to wake up, as the early mornings and multi-day interruptions of activists fighting for change are incomparable to the looming and irrevocable loss that will follow without a rapid response to climate change. . It appears that only climate protesters understand that the status quo cannot stay that way for long, and they are being arrested for it.

New police bill could make activist protests illegal in UK


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