Tag Archives: Courts

Police are arresting people for free-speech protests against the monarchy – due to Tory law

People across the UK are being arrested for exercising what should be their free-speech right to protest against the continuing existence of the monarchy.

Police are able to do this because Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act allows them to arrest people who are deemed to be causing a disturbance, or simply to be annoying.

This is the Tory boot stamping on your face, of course. Royalists may approve of republicans being silenced, but will they be as happy when they’re on the receiving end of this repression?

Here’s the evidence:

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Why is this think tank so influential on Tory policy – and who pays for it?

The puppet PM-to-be? Liz Truss appears to be nothing more than a figurehead for shadowy business concerns. Are her strings being pulled by think tanks like Policy Exchange?

Remember the report the Tories pushed into both Houses of Parliament three years ago, attempting to claim that Extinction Rebellion is a terrorist organisation and its protests should be stopped?

A few months later it was revealed that ER had been listed as an “extremist ideology”, to be referred to the Prevent programme – which aims to safeguard vulnerable people from being drawn into terrorism.

There was a row, and then the reference was described as an error and removed.

But it is widely agreed that the report played a large role in the drafting of Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which heavily restricts protest, criminalises many peaceful actions, disproportionately targets minority groups including  people of colour and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

The report had been published by Policy Exchange, a right-wing think tank that is part of the Tufton Street Brexit Nexus which

ties together fossil fuel interests, climate denial groups and a whole array of Brexit campaigns, pushing for a deregulated low-tax playing field pushing profit and growth over people and planet. As well as close ties to most of the current Conservative right politicians, they reach deep into the media, influencing the output of the Telegraph and Spectator, as well as the Times, Mail, Express and Sun.

We don’t know the names of everybody who funds this organisation, but information that is available shows that its work – and therefore Conservative Party policy – is being driven by private business interests:

As well as receiving around £3million per year from undisclosed donors, it has received ‘sponsorship’ money from many UK energy companies for arranging meetings with government ministers, and these included Drax, E.On, Centrica, and lobbyist Energy UK. It also receives money from ‘American Friends of Policy Exchange’, a US non-profit organisation supporting Policy Exchange UK and backed by mainly anonymous donors. They were listed in a 2017 ExxonMobil worldwide-giving report  as receiving a $30,000 donation from the giant fossil fuel corporation. ExxonMobil has spent vast sums over decades on promoting climate denial.

And think about this:

Policy Exchange also funds something called the Judicial Power Project which seeks to limit the rights of our justice system to rein in the power of government ministers or question unfair or draconian legislation. Under the guise of concern over “how and by whom public power is exercised”, it’s basically pushing for more power for heavily-lobbied ministers along with less accountability to a judicial system that may be more resistant to corporate influence.

Other changes suggested by Policy Exchange include calls for amendments to the Overseas Operations Bill, giving soldiers impunity for war crimes, and for government control over appointments of judges; and it has published a major study on “judicial interference” over the government’s Rwanda deal and other anti-asylum proposals. The project strongly influenced the tabling of the Judicial Review Act, which limits citizens’ ability to challenge government decisions in court.

And now, as RealMedia points out,

we are about to face a leader elected by a tiny unrepresentative club, advised by secretly-funded policy units, and cheered on by a media owned by its rich friends and donors.

This will get messy and you will probably be badly harmed by what these people will do. The big question is: how long are you going to let them do it?

Source: The hidden forces pushing change in our democracy and rights – Real Media – The View From Below

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Fascism? Anti-Brexit protester silenced (almost) on day anti-protest Act comes into law

How do you like the new British fascism?

On the very day the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act that bans “noisy” protest became law, police swooped on anti-Brexit campaigner Steve Bray and confiscated his amplifiers.

Mr Bray, of Port Talbot, has been a regular feature in Westminster for many years, protesting against Brexit. He regularly used his equipment to broadcast protest songs about Boris Johnson, notably during Prime Minister’s Questions.

But after the new Act came into force, which extends a “controlled area” around Westminster where activities like sleeping in a tent are restricted, around 15 police officers swooped on Mr Bray and took his equipment:

According to the Mirror,

One clause that commenced this morning is for police to “impose conditions on one-person protests” – a law critics have speculated was drawn up because of Mr Bray.

A senior police officer can impose conditions on a one-person protest if they “reasonably believe” the noise it creates “may result in serious disruption to the activities of an organisation in the vicinity, or have a significant, relevant impact on people in the vicinity.”

This disruption includes if people in the organisation can’t “reasonably carry out any one of their activities for a prolonged period of time.”

This Writer has seen no evidence that this was the case when Mr Bray’s equipment was taken.

I would certainly encourage you to read the Mirror article, especially the comments by representatives of organisations opposing the draconian measures in the Act. They make its consequences very clear.

This is likely to be the mildest example of the new policy’s enforcement.

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Was Tory crackdown on protest really prompted by this oil-funded think tank?

Targeted: Extinction Rebellion members – here protesting at a Murdoch print works – were briefly defined as an extremist group. Although they have now been removed from the list, Home Secretary Priti Patel has continued to refer to climate protesters as “criminals”.

A Tory crackdown on legal political protest was devised by a right-wing think tank that is funded by the US fossil fuel corporation ExxonMobil, it has been alleged.

And it is easy to see the reason: it removes the right of ordinary citizens to protest against the climate-wrecking policies followed by the oil industry.

According to Open Democracy,

Policy Exchange explicitly said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion (XR) in a 2019 report that got the attention of Tory MPs and peers.

The report called for protest laws to be “urgently reformed in order to strengthen the ability of police to place restrictions on planned protest and deal more effectively with mass law-breaking tactics”.

Sections of Priti Patel’s controversial policing bill, which became the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, appear directly inspired by the Policy Exchange report.

The Policy Exchange report that appears to have contained the seeds of the policing bill was later cited in the House of Commons by Tory MP Steve Baker, who urged ministers to read it, and in the Lords by Tory peer Matt Ridley. Baker is a trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic group that has received money from groups with oil interests in the US. Ridley is a member of the group’s academic advisory council.

Patel said openly that the legislation was intended to stop tactics used by Extinction Rebellion. The home secretary first pledged to introduce the bill just over a year after the Policy Exchange report was published.

Policy Exchange does not disclose its donors, but openDemocracy has uncovered that ExxonMobil Corporation donated $30,000 to its American fundraising arm in 2017.

There is much more information on the Open Democracy site (link below).

Circumstantial evidence?

Maybe – but then it isn’t likely that the Conservative Party, Policy Exchange and ExxonMobil are ever going to admit conspiring to silence legitimate political protest.

Source: Policy Exchange: Was oil-funded think tank behind anti-XR policing bill? | openDemocracy

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Lords cave in on undemocratic Tory laws ahead of closure of Parliament

Have you got your ID? If not, you won’t be able to vote in Parliamentary elections across the UK or local elections in England after the Tory government succeeded in restricting the number of people allowed to exercise their democratic right, affecting millions of people. Are you among those targeted by this?

A mass of undemocratic and despotic new laws are to come into being after cowardly Lords gave up their opposition to corrupt Tory government plans.

The Nationality and Borders Bill is to receive Royal Assent after peers gave up their principles.

It means Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum-seekers to live in Rwanda, rather than the UK, will be put into practice just as soon as she can get all the mechanisms in place, and never mind that it costs more than sending these people to live at the Ritz.

It will also become a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK illegally. This is hugely contentious because Patel has closed down all legal routes for asylum-seekers to enter the UK. The daughter of refugees herself, she has literally pulled up the ladder behind her, as the saying goes.

Fortunately, it seems other organisations have more backbone than the Lords. According to the BBC,

More than 200 organisations, including Oxfam and Save the Children, said they would challenge its outcomes, calling it “anti-refugee”.

The Elections Bill has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, meaning the Tory government will be able to restrict whether you are allowed to vote or not, based on whether you have a particular form of photographic identification. Millions of people don’t.

Meanwhile, the 15-year limit on rich UK citizens living abroad being allowed to vote will be scrapped.

The undemocratic upshot of these two measures will be that it will be much easier for people living overseas to vote – and without any barriers like photo ID, while it will be much harder for domestic citizens to do the same.

The Tory government is also seizing control of the Electoral Commission, meaning oversight of the way electoral law is administered will no longer be independent and your corrupt government will be able to twist the way elections are run in order to suit itself.

Finally, a bid to deprive even more people of access to justice has been passed: the Judicial Review and Courts Bill will stop the funding of bereaved families’ legal representation at inquests involving public bodies. If This Writer understands correctly, it means that if somebody dies because of a failure by such an organisation, their families will be unable to seek justice from those responsible unless they are independently wealthy (which seems unlikely).

Parliament is being prorogued today (Thursday, April 28), having been back in session for only a matter of days after the Easter break. It will not meet again until May 10, when a new session will begin with a Queen’s Speech laying out Boris Johnson’s plans for the following year or so.

Some legislation has been carried over to the new Parliamentary session, including the long-awaited and controversial Online Safety Bill, which will seek to criminalise certain abusive and antisocial behaviours on the Internet and regulate online companies in line with those measures.

The big surprise for many people must be the silence from Opposition leader Keir Starmer. He should be trumpeting that a Labour government will reverse the corrupt and undemocratic measures in these new laws but instead it seems he supports them.

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Tories set to outlaw the kind of anti-war protests we praised so much in Russia


While you’re busy having your attention directed to Russia and Ukraine by your Tory-supporting right-wing media…

… and I’ll make this quick because it’s really easy to understand…

Remember those anti-war protests in Russia that we all praised last week?

These:

Well, while you were being distracted by the war against which these brave people were protesting, your own government has been busy outlawing the kind of protest they were carrying out.

This is important because we are being told that Russia is a repressive, authoritarian dictatorship. And it is true that protesters can expect to face lengthy prison sentences if they are arrested.

But just compare the jail terms they’ll get with what you’ll face if you protest against your own government after the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is passed into law:

The debate is in Hansard (although at the time of writing, not in full). You can read it here.

So much for the Tory UK’s freedom-loving democracy!

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#PoliceBill: The Lords have blocked the #Tory plan to outlaw #protest

This is a bit huge, isn’t it?

Members of one House of Parliament have shown that they are capable of listening to the public, and have voted to block a plan by the Tory government to outlaw “noisy” and/or “disruptive” organised protests.

The decision to erase this part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has come after a weekend of “noisy” and/or “disruptive” organised protests against this government policy.

And it followed a debate that was punctuated by the noise of a demonstration against the Bill outside the Lords Chamber, to which peers did not object at all.

Home Office minister Baroness Williams tried to persuade peers that police would only use the proposed new powers where “necessary” and “appropriate” – but it seems nobody believed her on that. Once the law is passed, police will be allowed to adhere to its letter, not whatever meaning is being applied to it now. That means they’ll be able to do what they like – and that’s not acceptable in a democratic society.

Baroness Williams tried to gather support by saying the noisy protest outside would not be stopped – which is odd, as part of the Bill would have banned protest from Parliament Square.

Instead, she said noisy anti-vaccination protests outside a school or nursing home were a different matter – and that police should have the powers to intervene if necessary. But such protests are unique to the Covid-19 crisis; they don’t need a permanent law.

So it seems Priti Patel’s Bill is intended to address only current, short-term issues – but will then leave the measures to address them on the statute books in order to oppress people who would otherwise be described as entirely law-abiding exercisers of their democratic rights.

Again: not acceptable in a democratic society.

The Lords also voted to make misogyny a hate crime in England and Wales, in spite of the government’s policy not to.

Baroness Williams reckoned any evidence that a crime was misogynistic would be entirely subjective, and police would get tied up in reporting and monitoring statistics and data which are unlikely to be reliable.

Well, This Writer is not convinced. Misogyny is quantifiable and I’m sure people who investigate crimes will know how to do that. Perhaps Priti Patel could try talking with police sometime, instead of talking at them.

The Bill cannot be passed into law until both Houses have agreed on what it should be – so it will go back to the Commons, where the Tory majority will undoubtedly reverse these changes, along with several others agreed by the Lords.

They won’t think about it; they’ll just nod the stupidity back in.

And so the long year begins.

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Video of #KillTheBill activists on #PritiPatel chat is funny – but also shows she can’t answer real questions

Here’s an insight into the way your Tory overlords behave.

Priti Patel went on a video chat with what she thought was a group of Conservative supporters. You can see it on Skwawkbox. No doubt she was expecting a few carefully-vetted questions for which she could provide some carefully-rehearsed answers.

What she got was a group of “Kill the Bill” protesters, angry at her Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that is intended to criminalise public protest in the United Kingdom. I don’t condone their behaviour because, to be honest, they went rampant on the text chat in a way that wasn’t likely to do their cause any good.

What the incident demonstrates, though, is the polarity of thought in the upper echelons of the Conservative Party.

The chat’s host apologised for the incident, stating, “I’ve no idea how these leftists got in on the call.”

“Leftists”? How do they know?

The simple fact is that Patel’s Bill will outlaw protest by people of any political denomination: left, right, up, down, centre (wherever that is) – they’ll all go to jail for raising a finger, if she has her way.

But people with a legitimate right to question her policy were put down as “leftists” by the chat host.

One may conclude that this person is as much a fascist as Patel herself.

Perhaps everybody taking part (other than the protesters) is of the same persuasion.

The question we, as ordinary citizens of the United Kingdom, have to ask is:

Do we want these creepy ghouls to have authority over us?

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Protests across the UK as the Tories move to ban… protest

Ugly: this image from Priti Patel’s speech to the Tory conference last year, outliing why she wants to steal your freedom of speech and protest, could illustrate her reactions to the protests against her Policing Bill, across the UK, on January 15. She HATES people and she will do everything she can to grind you into the dirt.

Take a look at this clip from the BBC’s Question Time, in which an audience member points out that, while the possibility of removing a prime minister may be very exciting, it is also a distraction from major issues – like the Tory plan to end democratic protest:

Note the way Fiona Bruce shut the issue down. Clearly it was against the BBC’s agenda to allow anybody to talk about this.

Besides that, though, the audience member was wrong. The attack on our right to protest is connected to the fact that Tories like Boris Johnson thought they could have parties when we weren’t allowed to do the same, and the reason is simple:

They want to be able to do anything they like and know that there will be no consequences for them – because they are shutting down our ability to protest.

See?

Part of that agenda can be revealed by pointing out the lack of BBC – or any mass news media – coverage of a huge number of demonstrations, up and down the UK yesterday (Saturday, January 15), against Priti Patel’s plan to ban protest.

Many thousands of people took to the streets to raise awareness of the threat to our fundamental right of free speech, but the BBC and others did their best to silence them.

It was good to see some Opposition politicians join them – although the support was not wholehearted:

No, she hadn’t.

None of Labour’s current top team said a single word about the greatest threat to democracy in our time. It seems they support it.

On the other hand, Jeremy Corbyn – the former Labour leader that Keir Starmer (TelAvivKeef, as he is dubbed here, for reasons explained elsewhere) had booted out of the Parliamentary Labour Party – was exactly where they should have been: with the people, explaining why the protest is necessary:

I have photographic evidence of demonstrations in London:

In Bath:

In Sheffield:

And I understand there have been many more.

You need to be aware of what is happening, though.

And you need to contact your MP to demand that it is stopped.

With their overwhelming numerical superiority in Parliament, the Tories are going to push through this crime against your rights – which will come with a prision sentence of up to 51 weeks if you are caught breaking the new law – unless they are made to believe that it will make them unpopular.

Recent history, though, shows that most people are happier just curling up into a ball and hiding on their sofas while our Parliamentary parasites run roughshod over them.

Did I just describe you?

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Priti Patel has stuffed her anti-protest Bill with even MORE dictatorial attacks on liberty

Priti Patel: beneath that smug smile lurks nothing but pure evil. And nearly 14 million people wholeheartedly voted for her to strip them of their human rights and liberties.

Who knew that Boris Johnson’s Tory government, elected on a landslide because it promised us “sunlit uplands” of freedom, would prove to be the greatest threat to liberty in the history of the United Kingdom?

Well… Vox Political did, obviously, because I wrote about it before the 2019 general election. Perhaps people were deterred from reading it by the constant lies about This Writer being an anti-Semite, or the lies that only the Tory-biased mass media could possibly be able to give you the facts.

At the time, I wrote: “Page 48 of the Conservative Party manifesto… states: “We will update the Human Rights Act and administrative law to ensure that there is a proper balance between the rights of individuals, our vital national security and effective government.” It means: We will remove your right to protest against our dictatorship and if you try to stop us, we will use the police and the armed forces to PUT YOU DOWN.

“If you vote Conservative on December 12, that is what you are demanding.”

And nearly 14 million people, led by the nose by people like Laura Kuenssberg, Andrew Marr and Robert Peston, merrily voted away the hard-won liberties enjoyed by the other 54 million of us as well.

Now we find that, having already introduced dictatorial anti-protest measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill last March, Home Secretary Priti Patel has apparently decided, halfway through its progress through Parliament, that it is not harsh enough and has amended it to make it even worse.

And this is a Bill that proposes outlawing protest that makes any noise or disturbs, in any way, a single person (thereby obviating the point of any protest, which is to draw attention to the issue under protest)!

Here’s Nadia Whittome with the headlines:

So “stop and search” powers, currently used by police if they have “reasonable grounds for suspecting” someone is carrying certain items or something which could be used to violate certain laws, like burglary or theft – and habitually abused by them to victimise people of colour – are being expanded, rather than restricted.

The Bill proposes that they now be used “whether or not the constable has any grounds for suspecting that the person… is carrying a prohibited object” in order to avoid “serious disruption” or a “public nuisance”. So police will be able to stop and search anybody, for any reason that comes into their heads.

Anyone obstructing a stop and search during a protest risks imprisonment for nearly a year. This is how dictatorships behave.

Two new amendments appear to be intended to stop the Insulate Britain protesters who have been supergluing themselves to roads – but the wording is so loose that it may be used indiscriminately against the general public.

So Amendment 319A creates an offence of “locking on”, or carrying equipment which might facilitate it, targeting anyone who attaches themselves to “a person, to an object or to land”. It could equally be applied to protestors who link arms during a sit-down protest, or even hold hands – or to people walking past a protest, having nothing to do with it, who just happen to be carrying a fixative of any kind. Such a person could also find him- or herself in prison for 51 weeks.

Isn’t it handy for Patel that outlawing the kind of protest carried out by Suffragettes a century ago means she’ll be able to get on and deport all those black people she hates so much, without being stopped by people blocking the road outside detention centres. She knew what she was doing.

And then there’s the new ASBO for people who want to protest against Tory dictatorship:

The most far-reaching and alarming part of the legislation is called an SDPO, or Serious Disruption Prevention Order. It is one of the most egregious assaults on individual freedom we’ve seen in modern legislation.

An SDPO is basically a protest Asbo. It can be imposed on anyone convicted of a “protest-related offence”. This category alone is extremely broad. It potentially applies, under the provisions of the bill itself, to the examples above – possessing superglue near a demonstration, or holding hands during a protest.

even that is not enough. Amendment 342M.2.iii allows it to be imposed on people whose activities “were likely to result in serious disruption”. In other words, you do not even have to have been convicted of a crime. You do not even need to have caused disruption. It’s enough that you might have.

Once the order is imposed, it eradicates your rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Those under an order can be forced to report to the authorities whenever the courts demand it, as often as they demand it. They must “present themselves to a particular person at a particular place at… particular times on particular days”.

They can also be prohibited from being at a certain place, or possessing certain items, or participating in certain activities, or socialising with certain people, for up to two years. They can be blocked from using the internet to “encourage” people to “carry out activities related to a protest”. Someone who used their social media account to promote a demonstration could be found in breach of the order. The SDPOs are a full-scale assault on the individual’s human rights. And they can apply even if they’ve never been convicted of a crime.

So that’s be it for This Writer; I have written in support of many protests in the past, including those attacking Tory government crimes against liberty.

And if the people who voted this dictatorship saw reports of protesters being jailed under these proposed new powers, what do you think they’d say?

They would say the protesters – or innocent bystanders – deserved it because their protest was against the law – as though it always had been.

These people never seem to learn from their mistakes.

Imagine their surprise and shock when the Tories take their houses away from them to pay for social care (or name any other recent Tory attack on poor/working class people) and they feel the same law applied to them when they try to oppose it.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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is still available in either print or eBook format here:

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