Help protect the right to protest in the UK
From the anti-slavery movement to the Suffragettes, the Iraq War demonstration or Pride, the UK has a long and proud history of protest. But our human right to peacefully protest is being attacked and it is becoming more difficult to stay safe while making our voices heard.
Legislation giving police sweeping new powers is now law under the Public Order Act 2023. These new laws follow last year's protest restrictions contained in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022. This Act introduced new vague and undefined police and government powers to clamp down on any protests they deem to be too noisy or annoying - including by one person.
The Public Order Act 2023 gives police expanded stop and search powers related to protests. They will be able to apply for protest banning orders against individuals and “locking on”, a historic tactic where protesters attach themselves to other people, objects, or buildings, has been criminalised. This is deeply authoritarian. Not only will these measures prevent freedom of expression, but they will compound racism in policing and disproportionately impact marginalised groups.
Peaceful protest is protected under international human rights law, which means the UK government is in breach of its international obligations. We must protect our right to protest.
Will you help Amnesty International UK campaign to protect our vital right to protest?