The Tories are taking away our right to protest. Their new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will increase police powers to ban protests which are too noisy or are deemed to cause “serious annoyance”.

It will give the Home Secretary discretion over what types of protests are allowed. According to Human Rights organisation Liberty, this will effectively grant any Minister now or in the future the ability to suppress protests that they do not like or agree with. As well as increasing the maximum penalty for those taking part to up to 10 years in prison, it also lowers the threshold for committing such an offence.

The Bill was first introduced in March 2021 and had its third reading in the House of Commons in July, where it passed, despite being opposed by the Labour Party.

The Government has since tabled a further 18 pages of amendments, which if passed will prevent protesters from blocking major transport routes, expand power to stop-and-search people “without suspicion” and introduce Serious Disruption Prevention Order which allow the police to ban named individuals from attending any protest at all. On the 17th January the Lords will vote on these new amendments to the Bill.

Our city has a proud tradition of protest, from the Sheffield women who fought for the abolition of the slave trade to the Black Lives Matter groups who took to the streets following the death of George Floyd. Without the right to protest our country would be unrecognisable. And without the right to protest, we stand no hope of addressing the multitude of crises facing our country, and planet, today. To address the climate and nature emergency and bring about climate justice, we need to deepen democracy, not erode it. To tackle the crisis of living people in our city are facing, we need to be able to picket bad bosses and dodgy letting agents, not stay silent.

So I am asking everyone in our city to please sound the alarm about the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill before it is too late.

Please can you email and call members of the House of Lords before the 17th January and ask them to vote these new amendments down. All the contact details you need are below and there is a template email you can use: 

If you are able, please also attend Sheffield’s #KilltheBill rally this Saturday, 2pm at the Town Hall as part of a National Day of Action. 

If you live in Sheffield, I will be holding a public meeting in the next few weeks for campaign groups and individuals in our city to come together and discuss what more we can do to fight this Bill. More info to come! 

Take action against the policing bill.
Take action against the policing bill.
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