24 Mar 2021
The Bill contains draconian new powers to shut down peaceful protest, as well as new trespass offence which criminalises the way of life of nomadic Gypsy and Traveller communities.
It was then rushed through it’s second reading (the first opportunity for debate in parliament) on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 March.
This Bill poses a serious threat to some of our most fundamental rights, like freedom of assembly – the right to gather, which allows us to peacefully protest – that are vital to any democratic society. The Bill attempts to seriously limit the right to peaceful protest, increase prison sentences and give police more powers to arrest people for peaceful activities.
It also criminalises the lifestyle of nomadic, Gypsy and Traveller communities and limits access to nature.
Friends of the Earth and Liberty co-ordinated an open letter signed by over 250 charities, faith groups and unions, which was sent to the Home Secretary and Justice Secretary on Monday 15 March.