Advertisement
Activism

Kill the Bill protesters vow to make new ‘anti-democratic’ laws unenforceable

‘So what now? Do give up and accept our fate? No chance.’

Protesters have vowed to make two new “anti-democratic” laws unenforceable.

Campaigners from the Kill the Bill coalition say the Nationality and Borders Bill and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which both finally passed parliament this week, signal the “erasure of civil liberties.”

The Policing Bill grants police the power to restrict protests which are deemed too “noisy”, while the Borders Bill has introduced a range of immigration powers, including the power to process asylum seekers offshore.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

Support us

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work.

Both bills were the subject of ongoing protests, including widespread Kill the Bill rallies across the country in March 2021 and January 2022.

Home secretary Priti Patel said the Borders Bill represented “the first step in overhauling our decades-old, broken asylum system.”

But campaigners have said the bills’ passage would not stop their efforts.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Break the cycle of poverty for good
Big Futures is calling on the Government to put in place a plan and policies to break this cycle of poverty for good. We are calling for long-term solutions to meet the biggest issues faced in the UK today – the housing crisis, low wages and the climate crisis. Dealing with these issues will help the UK to protect the environmental, social, economic and cultural wellbeing of future generations. So that young people and future generations have a fair shot at life. Join us and demand a better future.

Labour MP Nadia Whittome said the laws were an attempt to demonise marginalised groups.

She said: “The passing of these bills is another dangerous turn towards authoritarianism. They will take away people’s rights – to citizenship, to protest, to asylum and more.”

Bhavini Patel, an activist with Kill the Bill and Extinction Rebellion, said the new laws terrified her.

She added: “I stand united with all those seeking justice, ready to support my brothers and sisters in the communities worse affected by this unbelievable attack on our rights and am ready to make the Bills unenforceable.”

wins by activists
Protesters at a Kill the Bill march in January 2022. Image: Chris Jerrey/Extinction Rebellion

Former police officer Chantelle Lunt, now a Black Lives Matter activist, said: “As a former police officer, who left the force due to institutional racism and misogyny in the ranks, I know that these new police powers will be abused to harm marginalised and minority communities.

“We, the public, did not consign to living in a police state and we must collectively withdraw consent to unfettered police powers.”

The Policing Bill also drew resistance to measures which campaigners said discriminated against Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities.

Jake Bowers, co-chair of the Drive 2 Survive campaign group, said the bill’s passage means police have greater powers to persecute nomadic Gypsies and Travellers.

He added: “So what now? Do give up and accept our fate? No chance.”

Andy Greene, an activist from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “This law is wrong. It won’t take away our voices because we have fought too hard to be heard. But they will try to divide us. And to criminalise us for fighting for our lives.

“We won’t let them. We dare not. This law won’t stop us. See you in the streets.”

Advertisement

Every copy counts this Christmas

Your local vendor is at the sharp end of the cost-of-living crisis this Christmas. Prices of energy and food are rising rapidly. As is the cost of rent. All at their highest rate in 40 years. Vendors are amongst the most vulnerable people affected. Support our vendors to earn as much as they can and give them a fighting chance this Christmas.

Recommended for you

Read All
Giving Tuesday: Eight ways to give that don't involve money
Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday: Eight ways to give that don't involve money

‘I feel extremely conflicted’: England fans on whether they’re watching the World Cup
Qatar World Cup

‘I feel extremely conflicted’: England fans on whether they’re watching the World Cup

How Qatar's only LGBTQ+ fan group is raising awareness during World Cup games
Qatar World Cup

How Qatar's only LGBTQ+ fan group is raising awareness during World Cup games

Giving Tuesday: Everything you need to know
Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday: Everything you need to know

Most Popular

Read All
Here's when and where nurses are going on strike
1.

Here's when and where nurses are going on strike

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'
2.

Pattie Boyd: 'I was with The Beatles and everything was fabulous'

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment
3.

Here's when people will get the additional cost of living payment

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways
4.

Why do people hate Matt Hancock? Oh, let us count the ways