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Defend the Right to Protest » Posts » MPs, activists and trade unionists condemn new attacks

MPs, activists and trade unionists condemn new attacks

A serious attack on our right to protest that must be challenged

A series of raids and “pre-emptive arrests” in the days leading up to the royal wedding represent a dangerous clampdown on our hard-won right to protest.

Squats have been raided by large teams of police officers. Activists have been arrested on the bizarre charge of “conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace” for trying to organize street theatre on the day of the royal wedding. Students arrested after the tuition fees protests have had their bail hearings moved forward and been charged and banned from the City of Westminster.

These include Alfie Meadows, who nearly died of a brain haemorrhage after being hit with a baton on December 9 and has now been charged with violent disorder. This follows the kettling and police violence against student protests and the mass arrest of 148 protestors who peacefully occupied Fortnum & Mason on March 26.

Politicians condemn regimes in the Middle East that do not allow their citizens to speak out against their rulers (some of whom, including the royal families of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, are attending the royal wedding today). Yet the political policing that has preceded the royal wedding threatens to do the same in Britain, making it a crime to be a protestor on high profile state occasions.

If this can happen for the royal wedding, how can we be confident that we will be allowed to protest at the opening of Parliament, the Tory Party conference or Chancellor Osborne’s budget announcement?

Now more than ever, as the government cuts threaten the jobs, services, pensions and benefits that millions rely upon, we need to assert our right to protest without fear of arrest and intimidation. We will be protesting outside the first hearing of Fortnum & Mason occupiers on Monday 9 May, 9am, at City of Westminster Magistrates Court and invite everyone who believes in defending our democratic rights to join us there.

Initiated by Defend the Right to Protest

Signatories include:

  • Stop Kettling Our Kids
  • UK Uncut
  • Justice for Alfie Meadows
  • United Campaign Against Police Violence
  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Matt Foot - Campaigning Lawyer
  • Aamer Anwar - Campaigning Lawyer
  • Billy Bragg
  • John McDonnell MP
  • Katy Clark MP
  • Liam Burns - President NUS Scotland
  • Mark Serwotka - General Secretary PCS
  • Billy Hayes - General Secretary CWU
  • Roz Kaveney - Queer Resistance
  • Laurie Penny - journalist
  • Nina Power - Senior Lecturer Philosophy, Roehampton University
  • Michael Chessum - Co-founder National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
  • Mark Bergfeld - NUS NEC, Education Activist Network
  • Ashok Kumar LSE SU Education Officer
  • Kanja Sessay NUS NEC, Black Students Committee
  • Clare Solomon ULU President
  • Sean Rillo Raczka, NUS NEC, Birkbeck SU Chair and ULU VP-elect
  • Ronan McNern - Queer Resistance
  • Trafalgar Square Anti-Cuts Occupation


To add your name or organisation use the comment field below.

Also don’t forget our to pass our new updated motion through your union branch or organisation and, if you can get to London, to come to our Emergency Open Meeting on Thursday.

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35 Responses to "MPs, activists and trade unionists condemn new attacks"

  1. Craig Gent says:

    Royal Holloway Campaigns Officer-elect, Save Our Services in Surrey

  2. Ruth Styles says:

    Whether I agree or not with any persons viewpoint, I think we all have the right to peacefully protest. What has happened is clearly wrong in law and a breach of our civil liberties.
    I think we should protest at the Metropolitan Police Action by complaining, and providing as much evidence as possible, film, recordings, witnesses, etc… to all those who sit on the Metropolitan Police Service Cttee at the GLA. They are:

    Boris Johnson Mayor of London and Chair of the MPS Cttee -
    Jenny Jones, Labour Member of MPS Cttee -
    Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat member of MPS Cttee -
    Dee Doocey, Liberal Democrat member of MPS Cttee -
    Victoria Borwick, Conservative member of MPS Cttee -
    Kit Malthouse, Conservative member of MPS Cttee -
    Tony Arbour - Conservative member of MPS Cttee -
    Jennette Arnold, Labour member MPS Cttee -
    Richard Tracey, Conservative member of MPS Cttee -
    Joanne McCartney, Labour Member of MPS Cttee-
    Steve O’Connell, Conservative member of MPS Cttee - steve.o’
    John Biggs, Labour Member of MPS Cttee -
    James Cleverly, Conservative member of MPS Cttee -

  3. Occupytraf says:

    Trafalgar Square Anti Cuts Occupation

  4. Abby Crispin says:

    Abby Crispin, Aber Students Against Cuts

  5. member of Aber Students Against Cuts, Aberystwyth

  6. elane heffernan says:

    Elane Heffernan, Chair, Newham Unison (personal capacity)

  7. Martin Upchurch says:

    Martin Upchurch, Professor of International Employment Relations, Middlesex University

  8. Jo Walker says:

    Coalition of Resistance Tyne and Wear.

  9. paul webster says:

    tutor on aberystwyth

  10. Sandy Nicoll says:

    Sandy Nicoll, SOAS UNISON Branch Secretary

  11. Christopher Rawlinson says:

    Christopher Rawlinson, Vice-President of Brockenhurst College Student Union

  12. Luke Staunton, Merseyside Network Against Fees and Cuts

  13. Yaiza Hernández Velázquez says:


  14. Student, activist and blogger. On behalf of Mazdoor Mukti

  15. Professor of Philosophy
    King’s College London

  16. Dr Joel Anderson says:

    CSSD UCU Branch Secretary (pc)

  17. Daniel Trilling says:

    Daniel Trilling, journalist.

  18. Michelle Goodman says:

    We have a right to free speech x

  19. Sarah Baskerville says:

    As a proud member of the PCS Union, I support my union in signing this petition (in a personal capacity).

  20. David Marsden says:

    David Marsden: Chair, UNISON Labour Link, West Midlands Region (personal capacity)

  21. Gareth Hill says:

    Bournemouth University Student

  22. Andrew Bowie says:

    Professor of Philosophy and German, Royal Holloway

  23. Richard Seymour, author, North London

  24. Moth Foster says:

    Green Party candidate for the Welsh Assembly on north Wales.

    I want to make this correction to the list of people on the Metropolitan Police Authority.
    Jenny Jones AM is a member of the Green Party.

  25. Hazel Midgley says:

    Hazel Midgley, PCS Young Members Area Convenor for Cambridgeshire

  26. Moth Foster says:

    That should read
    Green Party candidate for the Welsh Assembly in north Wales.

  27. Olivia Canham says:

    Olivia Canham, Brighton

  28. Billie Loebner says:

    UCU member

  29. Eve Masson says:

    Eve Masson.

  30. Ray Hutchinson says:

    Ray Hutchinson PCS Free speech is a right

  31. Jim McDonald says:

    It is unbelievable that while we, as a country, supposedly support those abroad fighting for freedom, employ actions we would decry if used in those same countries.

    Jim McDonald, PCS Rep

  32. Tim Hardy says:

    Tim Hardy, Beyond Clicktivism.

  33. Disabled People Against Cuts

  34. Max Harris says:

    Max Harris - citizen

  35. Sean Collins says:

    Sean Collins Bristol

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