URGENT: women oppose Police Crime Sentencing & Courts Bill & Nationality & Borders Bill
Let’s act now to stop the government’s nasty amendments to this already repressive Police Bill. Press Labour to vote against, not to abstain. The Green Party is opposing the Bill in the Lords, next debate: Mon 17 January. More info in our Action Alert below.
The Lords are voting on the Police Bill on 10, 12 & 17 January. It’s the most repressive legislation most of us have ever seen. Despite widespread exposure of police sexual and racist abuses of power and widespread opposition, the government has added new oppressive amendments. They must be defeated.
Women will be hit hard as we are at the forefront of peaceful direct actions vs rape & domestic violence; poverty; the climate emergency; Black Lives Matter; Gypsy, Roma & Travellers’ rights; family campaigns vs death in custody & racist murders; stop & search; sexist family courts; sexist, racist, anti-working-class policing; the Palestinian-led BDS movement … Read more
What's in the Bill?
- New police powers to criminalise protests which are ‘noisy’, ‘annoying’, cause ‘obstruction’, ‘trespass’ and ‘nuisance’.
- Criminalising Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities.
- Curfews and more stop and search - which already affects nine times more Black people than white people.
- Legally oblige workers in healthcare, schools, youth services, to work with police to ‘predict crime’.
- Longer and mandatory sentences, even for children.
Recently in the media . . .
- Many police are against these new powers. The National Black Police Federation Chair Andy George says why: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/07/police-officer-stop-and-search-powers-public-trust.
- This reinforces a letter former senior police officers sent to the Lords in July, quoted in The Times https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/policing-bill-is-harmful-to-democracy-ft9dg6r3x, saying: “Far from enabling the police to maintain public order, these provisions will place an onerous burden on police officers of every rank in the exercise of their professional discretion, subjecting the police to even greater political pressure. We are concerned that the police . . .are being instrumentalised for political purposes.”
- Rhian Graham of the Colston 4 says what could have happened to her if this Bill had been law: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jan/06/colston-four-victory-racial-justice-history
- George Monbiot says why opposing the Bill is urgent: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/01/imprisoned-51-weeks-protesting-britain-police-state
What can you do?
Contact the Lords this week - urge them to vote against the Bill and particularly the new amendments 148-159, and Part 3 (on Public Order). Tell them why you don’t want the government must be stopped from turning the UK into a police state. Digital Rebellion has a useful form here - hit the button ACT NOW for contact details of Lords to lobby.
When the Bill comes back to the Commons. Write to your local MP (find their name & email here). and especially to Yvette Cooper and Keir Starmer who hold sway over how Labour Lords and MPs vote.
See the Greens online action pack with ideas for various protests
Raise the alarm: Write to your local press, and use social media to alert people about this Bill, and join protests.
The government is also undermining judicial review and the Human Rights Act, to stop us challenging the abuse of state power. The Nationality and Borders Bill would enable them to deport people who disagree with the government, even if we have British citizenship and the right to be here. It would also make it impossible for rape survivors to get asylum in the UK, unless they speak to border officials immediately about the torture they suffered.
Don’t be someone who says in 10 years’ time, “I regret I didn’t take action
when it was still legal.” Silence = complicity