Suella Braverman’s Public Order Bill brings back the worst aspects of the Policing Bill that were rightly thrown out by the House of Lords earlier this year – and adds even more repressive measures.

Caroline Lucas has called Suella Braverman’s Public Order Bill “a truly staggering attack on our right to protest… a blatant attack on political community – on the vital networks of people involved in keeping protest movements alive.”

Please sign this petition by human rights organisation Liberty calling on the government to stop this attack on our democratic rights, and encourage others to sign.

Our Green peers Jenny Jones and Natalie Bennett led the opposition to Priti Patel’s Policing Bill and succeeded in getting many of its most dangerous clauses thrown out. But the government hasn’t given up trying to remove our basic democratic freedoms. This bill would hand authorities sweeping powers to clamp down on protests such as those that stopped the felling of street trees.

The Public Order Bill would mean:

Residents protest the felling of trees and plead with police (photo by Jacqui Bellamy)

● Anyone who has taken part in a protest that caused “serious disruption to two or
more individuals or to an organisation” in the previous five years, or
encouraged other people to take part, could be forced to wear an electronic
tag to monitor their movements.

● People suspected of planning protests could also be forced to “remain at a
particular place for particular periods” and prohibited from associating “with
particular persons”, entering “particular areas” or using the internet to
encourage others to protest. Anyone breaking these terms could face up to 51
weeks in prison.

● “Locking on” – the method of non-violent protest used by the Suffragettes and
many others – would become a criminal offence.

● A new offence of “interfering with key national infrastructure” could be used to
criminalise protesters at almost any site of power, or who disrupt transport.

The Bill has passed its third reading in the House of Commons but goes to the
House of Lords in the week beginning 1 November. But the Lords can still vote it
down – and it’s vital that they do so.

You can also write to or phone your local MP and/or to Labour/independent peers.
You can find your MP and email them at Write to Them. There’s a templateemail you can use here. But if you have time, please write your own email using your own words. You can find the phone numbers of most MPs here. If you call, urge them to speak to their colleagues in the House of Lords to urge them to oppose the Bill. Contacts for members of the House of Lords are here.