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From The Socialist newspaper, 1 December 2021

Tories strengthen repressive laws in anticipation of discontent

Police surveillance, photo Paul Mattsson

Police surveillance, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Maddy Steeds, Manchester and Salford Socialist Party

The Tories have added further amendments to the controversial Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill in an attempt to restrict people's ability to protest. Clearly the government and the bosses can sense working-class anger at their policies and declining living standards.

The original proposal to increase sentences for protestors was met with a wave of protests across the UK. Despite this, the bill was passed by MPs, and new changes to make the bill even more restrictive have been proposed.

The new proposals will give the police the power to stop and search anyone at a protest, without requiring any suspicion of a crime. Furthermore, in response to the actions of Insulate Britain, harsher penalties for those blocking motorways have been suggested. Finally, those accused of causing serious disruption, regardless of whether they have ever been sentenced, may be banned from attending further protests.

It is important to struggle against the introduction of further repressive legislation. But in the face of mass movements that win public support, the government will find these new laws hard to enforce. During the Covid-19 lockdowns we saw small protests being penalised under the guise of 'endangering public health', but no such penalties were enforced on larger demonstrations.

The attempt of the state to increase their power through this bill simply underlines the importance of solidarity across movements. The working class is the strongest force in society, and the new bill will not be able to crush a protest when workers are out en masse. Socialist change can be achieved in society regardless of the road blocks placed by the state, but to overcome those obstacles we must get organised to unite and fight.

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In The Socialist 1 December 2021:


News

NHS Critical

Covid-19: New variant emerges but same old capitalist disease

27 dead in channel migrant tragedy

Bulb bailed out, nationalise energy to solve price crisis

Khan threatens further London transport cuts

Kickstart scheme 'insufficient and flawed'

Tories strengthen repressive laws


COP26

After COP26: where next for the climate movement?


International

Argentine elections see deepening polarisation


Wales

Wales: The Labour-Plaid Cymru agreement - jam tomorrow, maybe


Rural life

Behind the rural idyll - the problems of everyday life


Workplace news

NHS workers - vote yes for action to win a decent pay rise

Staff and students unite against university bosses' attacks

UCU higher education disputes

Education unions lead campaign against Leicester academisation

RMT strikes against abolition of night tube train operators

South Yorkshire Stagecoach drivers strike against measly 1% pay offer

Nottingham and Mansfield trade unions rally against cuts and for better pay

Oaks Park school strike ends following forced concessions


Campaigns

East London mass non-payment wins housing victory

Marching to stop violence against women

Housing campaigners protest CEO champagners

Building a political alternative to Tory and Labour cuts

Stop the cuts to Uni arts funding

Plymouth: Hundreds attend vigil for Bobbi-Anne McLeod

Socialism 2021: How we reached our fighting fund appeal target

End fuel poverty


Readers' opinion

TV review: Valley of the Tears


 

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