Protecting the Right to Protest

March 21, 2021 12:00 PM
By Alistair Carmichael
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Home Secretary's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would seriously restrict individuals' right to protest. Protesting is a basic human right and enables people to have their voices heard.

The heavy-handed suppression of the peaceful vigil for Sarah Everard last weekend was disturbing and unnecessary. The Conservatives want to usher in a Bill that would lead to more scenes of peaceful protesters being needlessly arrested. That's why today, the Liberal Democrats have backed a motion that firmly stands against the Conservatives' Bill, seeing it for what it is - an attempt to undermine our democracy.

Liberal Democrats have always defended human rights"

We saw the importance of the right to protest reaffirmed this last year by the vital Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The protests have rightly focused attention on our society's widespread racial inequality.

Yet Priti Patel described the non-violent, democratic BLM protests as "utterly disgraceful", "dreadful" and "illegal". It has now emerged that the Home Secretary also encouraged Police Chiefs to prevent vigils in Sarah Everard's name.

The Home Secretary's contempt for basic human rights is deeply troubling. The Conservatives' Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is just the latest in a long line of destructive attacks on the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.

We demand the Government drop the Bill and uphold the right to peaceful protest.

Read the full motion here: libdems.org.uk/f21c-protecting-the-right-to-protest

The Liberal Democrats have always defended human rights, they are the backbone of our liberal democracy. We will continue to challenge the government's attempts to undermine our democracy.