Right to protest hangs in balance

Right to protest hangs in balance

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Kerry Abel started this petition to Priti Patel

After the tragic death of Sarah Everard, many women in south London and around the country felt compelled to mark their respects and their anger against male violence on 13 March 2021.

On Saturday the police were inflammatory, irresponsible and heavy handed. We’re calling on Priti Patel to apologise for their actions, to carry out an investigation into their actions and to halt any new legislation that aims to increase the power of the police in such situations.  

Women are angry because initial advice to women was that we should stay indoors, not men who are the perpetrators of this intimidation and violence against women. What’s more the main suspect in the case against Sarah Everard was a police officer.

In Clapham, witnesses have attested that the events were peaceful and observed social distancing, even the Duchess of Cambridge attended in person. It was clear that police waited until it was dark to use heavy handed tactics on the protesters. This is in stark contrast to the way police treated Rangers football fans gathering in numbers a few day ago.

We are concerned that this is a forerunner of the proposals to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill having its second reading on Monday 15th March, to restrict the ability for citizens to lawfully protest and to allow police increased powers to restrict the reasons for protest and the way they handle the events themselves.

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