UPDATE: 22 March 2022: MPs will get another chance to quash the government's plans to criminalise noisy protest next week. Write to yours today to ask them to take it!
MPs will debate the policing bill again -- and for the last time -- in February. That means it's out last chance to ask them to protect our right to protest.
The proposed new laws cut right to the heart of our democracy. And criminalising trespass targets the nomadic way of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities -- as well as making the countryside a more hostile place for anyone wanting to enjoy it while hiking, cycling or camping.
Even the government’s own human rights watchdog, as well as a committee of MPs, have said that the proposed new laws are a threat to our human rights and civil liberties. It’s even caught the attention of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, who’s warned that it will make human rights violations more likely.
Thankfully, peers came together to protect our rights and passed amendments to remove some of the worst provisions in the bill. But it's up to us to make sure MPs to defend those changes and resist any further government attempts to silence us.
Your email will be most powerful if you say why this matters to you personally as one of their constituents -- you could mention:
- Ask your MP to oppose Parts 3 and 4 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill at Report Stage. These are the sections that limit our ability to protest, and criminalise trespass and a nomadic way of life. (MPs are due to debate the Bill again in February, and could do as early as the 7th)
- Ask your MP to support the changes to Part 3 that were recently brought forward by the House of Lords, particularly those relating to noise restrictions at protests, the restrictions on where protest can take place, the ‘buffer zone’ around the Houses of Parliament’ and the increased penalties for people participating in protest.
- Peaceful protest has helped secure many of the rights and freedoms we take for granted, the progress our society has made, and the protections we have secured for the natural world. Tell your MP why this is important to you!
- This bill will give the police much greater powers to restrict protests -- and could include anything a junior police officer thinks are, or even might, be necessary.
- Anyone who breaches these restrictions, even if they didn’t know about them, will receive a significantly increased punishment.
- These new laws will apply to non-violent, peaceful protest.
- This bill will also criminalise the ancient nomadic way of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, by introducing a new offence of trespass with intent to reside. The government has failed to provide sufficient legal stopping places for these already marginalised and persecuted communities. But this cruel bill would make things even worse, punishing whole families by allowing the police to seize the vehicles – their homes – of those suspected of the new crime. Ask your MP to speak out against this.
- If you need more information:
- A comprehensive and detailed joint briefing for MPs
- What is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and how will it change protests?
- How to campaign against the policing bill
- Curbs on protests in policing bill breach human rights laws, MPs and peers say
- Curbs on ‘noisy protests’ may return to Commons after Lords defeat
- Friends, Families and Travellers’ briefing about the criminalisation of trespass in part 4 of the Policing Bill
- Two thirds of public concerned by plans to ‘criminalise protest’, polling shows
- Silencing Black Lives Matter: Priti Patel’s anti-protest law
- Add your own subject line
- Introduce yourself as one of their constituents (include your address and post code to demonstrate that)
- Write your email
- Choose which email client you use (if you don't know, or yours isn't listed, click 'others' under 'Manual')
- You'll be redirected to your email client, and your email will appear as a draft
- Hit send!
- Please forward any responses you get to email@example.com