Tory attacks on civic freedom see UK downgraded in new report

Police on a UK protest
Support us and go ad-free
Tory attacks on civic freedom have seen the UK downgraded in a new joint report due to restrictive public order laws. International non-profit organisation Civicus and the Bond Charity have warned that new policing laws merit the UK’s recent classification as a state where freedom is “obstructed”.
Additionally, the report highlighted the state’s response to climate protests as a reason for the downgrade. The UK now sits alongside Hungary, Poland, and nearly 40 other states with poor records on civic freedom.

Public order laws

Freedom monitor Civicus publishes The People Power Under Attack report annually. The authors warned that:
New powers that restrict the right to protest have led to the UK being downgraded from ‘narrowed’ to ‘obstructed’.
Their critique focused on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Bill:
Two pieces of legislation we’ve written about and have been advocating against- the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act and the Public Order Bill – give extensive new powers to police and the Home Secretary and feature heavily in the UK section of the report.
Furthermore, it stated that the authorities have targeted climate change protests in particular:
In addition to the legislation, the report emphasises how climate and anti-racism protesters are being targeted by police, with legal observers experiencing high levels of intimidation, harassment and aggression.

International issue

The authors warned that authoritarianism was a real danger:

The types of legislation and rhetoric we are seeing in the UK now can lay the foundation for further restrictions in the future; clampdowns on charities and protesters can quickly become clampdowns on anyone who dares to think differently.

Bond CEO Stephanie Draper said that the UK public order laws were becoming “increasingly authoritarian”:

The downgrade reflects the worrying trends we are seeing in restrictions across civil society that are threatening our democracy.

That freedom is under attack in the UK will come as no surprise to those paying attention. This new downgrading should send shockwaves through politics. However, with an opposition obsessed with playing to Tory voters, it remains to be seen if it will.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Nigel Mykura, cropped to 770 x 403, licenced under CC BY 2.0.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free
Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us