WOMEN from Camden joined in a lively protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as it was debated in the Lords last week, spotlighting women’s case against this repressive legislation.
Despite bucketing rain, a diverse crowd spoke about how the bill would impact our lives, and our loved ones (pictured above). Protesters welcomed Natalie Bennett and Jenny Jones, who came over to speak with us. They described opposition in the Lords, even among some Tories and especially lawyers.
The bill would: criminalise protests deemed “annoying” or a “nuisance”; enable police curfews; increase stop and search; turn public sector workers into informers, and bring in whole life sentences for children as young as 10. It criminalises Gypsy Roma and Travellers.
One Kentish Town mother said: “we are in constant fear… our young people are targeted and stopped in their daily lives; this bill increases distrust of the police and their aggressive, sometimes deadly, tactics”.
Women will be targeted as we are central to non-violent direct actions and protests, from rape and domestic violence, poverty, climate justice, Black Lives Matter, deaths in custody, racist murder, stop and search, family courts, Palestine and BDS support, stopping deportations and more.
Women in BLM Cardiff women just got a £2,000 fine for protesting outside Cardiff Bay police station thrown out of court.
Campaigners to Free Siyanda Mngaza, a young Black woman jailed for defending herself from a racist attack by two much older adults, were cheered as they arrived with their banner, and Siyanda’s mother sent a support message from Birmingham.
Other participants included the English Collective of Prostitutes, Reclaim Brighton Pride, Black solidarity RMT union members, Gypsy Roma and Traveller activists.
Payday men’s network and Camden Momentum’s chair supported. John McDonnell MP was welcomed.
Police don’t need more powers. They need to use the powers they have to protect women and children and everyone against violent men, including violent officers.
Rape has been decriminalised with prosecutions now less than 1.4 per cent. Women officers and wives of police are publicly complaining that male officers have impunity for domestic violence and rape.
Women Against Rape called the protest jointly with Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike, and work with local groups in #Kill the Bill networks.
See our statement: Why women oppose the police bill.
Women of Colour GWS
Women Against Rape