With no broken glass or fire extinguishers in sight, it seems even peaceful protest is frowned on these days! Charity campaigners were removed from the car park of an out of town shopping centre, heavies bundled innocent librarians into the street in Shepherds Bush and a law firm asked poverty campaigners to move a table 40 centimetres.
Collecting petitions in public is a basic form of democratic engagement. But under current law this is largely prohibited in so-called quasi-public space owned by private companies. A group ventured to Birmingham’s Bullring to test the response time of yellow-vested enforcers:
The upcoming Freedom Bill is an opportunity for the government to address this and restore the right to peaceful protest.
You can sign 38 Degrees’ petition here.