- I must stress that this is the letter I sent to my MP as an example for you to use as a template when writing to your local MP to oppose the new Police and Crime Bill which seeks to restrict the freedom of protest. Please do read it and edit it to suit your views and opinions, the service blocks identical copied and pasted messages and could prevent your letter reaching your MP. Thank you!
Dear (insert your MP’s name)
I am contacting you as a member of your constituency to urge you to speak out against Priti Patel’s New Police and Crime Bill and use your vote to oppose it in Parliament in an attempt to slow it’s passage to allow for meaningful debate around our democratic right to protest in the UK.
This bill is being fast-tracked through Government in an attempt to silence and restrict protestors and it is crucial that the Government upholds the democratic and human right of the people it serves to protest against inequality and those situations they deem unfair. A protest is supposed to be loud and disruptive, it is provactive in it’s nature to draw attention to an event/inequality/incident or frustration in the effort to seek change and demand that the voices of the people are heard. The Government works to protect and serve the people, and I do not believe that this new Police and Crime Bill upholds those values, but seeks to silence and de-legitamise the public’s opinions and views. This is a crucial moment in time when across the World there are protests against the inequality and violence towards people of colour, women and the impending global warming disaster. There is no reasonable excuse to offer more power to the Police to shut down these important protests which seek to change society for the better and unite people in their anger, hurt and passion and this new bill serves as an unneccesary attack on the freedom to protest.
The bill states that police would have the power to move in on protests that may cause disruption and that involve direct action and civil obedience. It also states that any protest seemed to be an ‘annoyance’ can be shut down, these rules leave scope for police to close down any protest that they do not agree with and strips away our human rights and freedom of speech. I must ask the question, when has any change come from silence and lighting candles? Change is born in the displays of passion of those who take to the streets and demand action. Priti Patel is actively seeking to restrict this and I cannot stress the importance of opposing these sanctions on protests, for the future of our country and the younger generation.
To see the deeply upsetting and traumatising scenes in Clapham common yesterday where Police moved in heavy-handedly to arrest and disperse a crowd of grieving women laying flowers should be an example to all that we cannot afford to handover any more power to the police when it comes to our freedom to protest. I am also deeply concerned about reports of South Wales Police forcefully entering properties, dragging individuals out of bed and arresting them for protesting against the death of Mohamud Hassan in your constituency, which is being investigated by the IOPC. This violent display of power by the Police towards protestors serves as another worrying example of the future if this new crime bill passes. To have a law in place which could see protestors marching for equal rights given a sentence of ten years in jail, whilst someone stalking, sexually abusing or raping an individual could walk free in less than five years would be a historically dark day in our democracy and I urge you to speak out and vote against this damaging and restrictive bill.
I understand the difficult times we are in and the danger COVID-19 still opposes to our society and your constituency, but I also believe that our human rights must be upheld and that the freedom of protest serves as a sign of strength and unity in the democratic country we claim to live in. If we strip away our right to protest, we strip away our voices; Voices which saw those before us lay down their lives for us to have the right to be heard.
I ask you as one of your loyal constituents to oppose the the New Police and Crime Bill in parliament and to speak out against the damage of restricting the freedom to protest.
I trust that I can rely on you to do the right thing and represent your constituents with their best intentions at heart.
Thank you/ Diolch yn fawr,
Insert your name
Sign this petition calling on the National Police Chief’s Council to protect your freedom to protest: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/protect-the-freedom-to-protest?bucket=&source=twitter-share-button&utm_campaign=&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=twitter&share=b158f88f-eaed-4d6c-8590-5833ca90d000