UK Right to Protest: Curbing Criminals or Controlling Public Freedoms?

The right to protest in the UK may have been severely harmed as new public order measures are set to take place.

Serious Disruption Prevention Orders

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New public order measures known as Serious Disruption Prevention Orders are on the horizon with many fearing the worst.

Government Crackdown on Protests

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The new laws are the government’s latest attempt to crack down on protests that it believes endanger society and threaten livelihoods.

Scope of the Orders

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Serious Disruption Prevention Orders grant authorities the power to impose various restraints on individuals that the police deem “disruptive.”

Critics Slam “Shameless” Act

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Critics have slammed the new legislation, with one organisation, Liberty, labelling it a “shameless attempt” from the government to curtail the public’s freedom of speech.

Defending Controversial Legislation

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The government has defended the legislation despite criticism, with Home Secretary James Cleverly insisting that it won’t affect the public’s right to protest.

Public’s Right to Protest

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Cleverly admitted that “The public has a democratic right to protest and this government will always uphold that.”

Just Stop Oil Concern

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The government has been attempting to crack down on activist groups, including Just Stop Oil, which has been blocking roads and targeting politicians’ homes.

Online Measures Granted

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The orders will grant authorities power to arrest individuals found to encourage “disruptive” protests online as well as in person.

Public “Wreaking Havoc”

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Cleverly said that “recent months have shown certain individuals are just dedicated to wreaking havoc” while defending the laws.

Protestors Causing “Severe Disruption”

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The Home Secretary accused protestors of “causing severe disruption to the everyday lives of the public.”

Repeated Offenders Targeted

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Cleverly promised that the new legislation would protect the public from repeated offenders, arguing that more power was needed to do so.

Final Warning to Offenders

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“This is why we have introduced these new powers to ensure that anyone who ignores warnings from our law enforcement cannot continue to cause turmoil unpunished,” Cleverly said.

Legislation Could Lead to Abuse

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Despite Cleverly’s reasoning, many critics believe that the new laws are not specific enough to prevent abuses of power from the authorities.

Laws too “Broad and Vague”

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One member of the civil-liberties organisation Liberty insisted that the laws were too “broad and vague” with a dire warning for the public.

Beck’s Warning to the Public

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According to Policy and Campaigns Officer Jodie Beck, the laws on “locking-on offences” mixed with the new legislation “could lead to people being banned from protesting entirely.”

Treating a Human Right Like a “Gift”

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Beck insisted that protesting is a “human right” and accused the government of treating the right like a “gift” that the state provides, so long as the public complies.

Worries About Future of Protesting

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According to Beck, “The government should be supporting people’s right to protest, not chipping away at it.”

Tory Woes in Polls

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The Conservative Party are currently facing a potential landslide in the general election at the hands of the Labour Party and Sir Keir Starmer.

Defecting to Other Parties

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According to recent polls, only 20% of those who previously voted for the Conservatives in 2019 would vote for them again, with many voters defecting to Reform UK and the Labour Party.

Protests Lead to Restrictions

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Concerns that protest rights in the UK are diminishing have increased since climate activists infiltrated homes of politicians including the homes of Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer.

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The post UK Right to Protest: Curbing Criminals or Controlling Public Freedoms? first appeared on Edge Media.

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Oscar Davies, an expert in US and UK politics and sports, is renowned for his sharp and engaging writing style, appealing to a broad spectrum of readers.

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