In the Queen’s Speech today (10 May), Boris Johnson’s government forced through new police powers to prevent disruptive yet peaceful protests as one of the 38 new bills. The introduction of the Public Order Bill is an attempt to reinstate measures that were defeated in the House of Lords in January.
The government will now announce new offences, backed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, to stop protesters from “locking on” to infrastructure, as well as extend stop and search powers and make it illegal to obstruct transport projects including HS2.
Stephanie Draper, CEO at Bond, the UK network of NGOs, said in response:
“The UK government is relentlessly cracking down on fundamental human rights instead of protecting protesters and climate defenders and addressing the converging crises of climate change, inequality and poverty.
“This bill sets a dangerous example to the rest of the world as it gives police the power to criminalise those who try to stand up for what they believe in and hold people in power to account.
“These measures come just months after being removed from the draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which is a double blow to civic freedom and all who campaigned against them.
“By continuing to suppress people’s voices, the UK has lost all credibility on the world stage as a country that champions human rights and democratic values.”
Notes to editor:
- Bond is the UK network for organisations working in international development. Bond unites and supports a diverse network of over 400 civil society organisations from across the UK, and allies to help eradicate global poverty, inequality and injustice.
- For further information or interviews please contact Juliet Conway on 07990518334 or [email protected]