March 2, 2021
From Radical Glasgow (UK)


          I, like many others have spouted at regular intervals the need to be vigilant as the pandemic diminishes, as the government will do what it can to hold onto the restrictions that it has put in place in the name of controlling the pandemic. The state apparatus always aims at a subservient population, one that sits and waits for government instructions as to when to meet up, where and how many. It has gained this through emergency legislation and will be most reluctant to let that control go, giving the people the right to move as they please, meet where and when they please, and with how many they wish to meet.
       It seems that Priti Patel, she who allegedly shouts and swears at those who work for her, but in doing so has not broken the ministerial code, according to bumbling Boris, now wishes to tighten controls over people’s right to protest, giving the police more powers to deal with those who would dare to protest. With in her twisted mind she seems to think that the police, already do not have sufficient powers to go carte-blanche and heavy handed into any protest, with the states blessing, she wishes to hand them more power to stifle our right to public protests.
       This population control is just one of the restrictions that the state will do its damnedest to hold onto and enhance, it is in the nature of the state. Not only must we be vigilant but also ruthless, in the defence of our right to peaceful  and mass protest.  We must also protest in mass and loudly at any attempt to hold onto any of the pandemic restrictions that were introduced as emergency legislation because of the pandemic. Otherwise the few freedoms we do have will vanish into the annals of history. where it will be almost impossible to retrieve them. Freedoms and governments pull in the opposite direction, If you value your freedom, then be prepared to fight for them, the state will not hand them over with a smile. 

    Concern over the government’s limitation of the right to protest during lockdown continues to mount after it emerged that the home secretary, Priti Patel, is eager to grant police greater powers to control demonstrations once the Covid restrictions are lifted.
       In a letter to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) Patel wrote that although she appreciates protest is “a cornerstone of our democracy” she wanted to know how the Home Office could help police ensure protests in the future do not impact on “the rights of others to go about their daily business”.
       In a letter to Sir Thomas Winsor, the head of HMICFRS, dated last September but just released under freedom of information laws, Patel wrote: “I would like to know … what steps the government could take to ensure the police have the right powers and capabilities to respond to protests.”
      Campaign groups such as Liberty argue that police already have extensive powers to control or ban protests and arrest individuals who stray from police-imposed conditions.
       Patel recently described last year’s Black Lives Matter protests as “dreadful” after previously calling them illegal. BLM demonstrators have claimed they were subjected to intimidating police tactics such as kettling, and a report from the monitoring coalition Netpol alleged the policing of the protests was “institutionally racist”.
         Patel’s letter to Winsor has prompted a review by the inspectorate into how effectively the police manage protests.
        Its findings will help Patel prepare a new law to curb protests that it is understood will target those that block parliament or affect judicial hearings, among other criteria.
       There is growing concern that the government has used the pandemic to suffocate protest. Gracie Bradley, the interim director of Liberty, said Covid regulations passed as emergency laws appear to create a blanket ban on organising and attending protests, which was a disproportionate restriction of human rights.
        “It’s a failure to prioritise what is the exercise of a fundamental democratic right and one that is all the more important given the government’s propensity to sideline parliament in the course of dealing with this pandemic,” she said.

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