Home Secretary Priti Patel is pushing ahead with plans to crackdown on thousands taking to the streets in support of Ukraine in a controversial bill set to return to the House of Commons on Monday
Image: Ray Tang/REX/Shutterstock)
Brits marching in support of Ukraine and singing the country’s national anthem could be jailed under Priti Patel ’s draconian crackdown on protests.
The Home Secretary is pushing ahead with plans to stop “noisy” protests, at a time when thousands are taking to the streets to show solidarity with Ukraine.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine, protests have taken place across the UK and the world, with people desperate to show solidarity with Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Zelensky called on people to take to “come to your squares, to your streets, make yourselves visible and heard”, as he marked one month since the invasion formally began.
Over the weekend, tens of thousands took to the streets in London shouting “stand with Ukraine”.
The controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, will return to the House of Commons today (MON) with Lords amendments.
Peers voted to remove the “noise trigger” provision from the bill last week, found in clause 73 and 87.
But Clauses 55 and 56 of the bill still makes it easier for police to impose conditions on marches and static protests, giving police the power to dictate if a procession is “too noisy”.
Ukrainian protesters themselves have spoken out against this Bill, saying that it contravenes the Government’s support for Ukraine and for democracy.
Labour tabled amendments to remove the noise provisions from the Bill, which the Government opposed. These amendments return to the Commons today.
Peers laughed in the Lords chamber last week when Lord Coaker unveiled government guidance for conducting protests – urging people to only protest outside buildings that had double glazing.
The former Home Office minister told peers: “The Government has got itself in a right mess in respect to noise.
“What on earth does too noisy mean. One person gets irritated by not very much noise, some get irritated by no noise at all.”
He later told the Mirror the noise amendment was “unworkable and impractical”.
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Liberal Democrat Lord Paddick, who was a deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, said: “The more conditions that can be imposed and the more draconian those conditions, the bigger the drain on already overstretched police resources.”
He added: “By banning some demonstrations on the basis of anticipated noise and not others, the police will be subject to accusations they are being political rather than practical.
“Such a change in the law is likely to draw the police reputation into even more disrepute.”