The government’s new Public Order Bill treats peaceful protest like terrorism or knife crime, a leading lawyer has told MPs.
Adam Wagner, a barrister who represents protesters, told MPs the planned law would not deter hardcore protesters from groups such as Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil – but would put off normal people from attending innocuous protests.
The Public Order bill, which includes measures to jail protesters for ‘locking on’, and to ban repeat offenders from attending protests, is currently being considered by MPs in a public bill committee.
“It criminalises peaceful protest in a way which has not been done before,” Wagner said.
“It treats peaceful protest like knife crime or drug dealing or terrorism.”
Patel’s bill has already passed two votes by MPs and would also give police expanded stop and search powers.