Law for Life are writing to Yvette Cooper MP to raise serious concerns over Part 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Law for Life has written to the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper MP along with a coalition of women's housing groups, to raise serious concerns over Part 3 of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill and urge the Labour Party to stand against it in Parliament.

Part 3 of the Bill gives police forces more power to place restrictions on protests and public assembly. These plans are a direct threat to the right to protest and have been met with strong opposition from the public and campaigning organisations.

Protests are a key function of our open and free democracy, and will ultimately give cause to the police to shut down any protest in the name of it being ‘disruptive’ to the public. 

There is a long history of women’s groups mobilising against evictions, unsafe housing, high rents and insufficient accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse and women leaving prison. From local ACORN groups protesting outside letting agencies Protest to help mum who faces eviction in Brighton to prevent evictions of women and their children to Sisters Uncut occupying council homes slated for demolition, to Focus E15 campaign’s weekly speak-outs to support families languishing in overcrowded temporary accommodation. Protest continues to be a vital way to resist the ongoing housing crisis.

" Protest is a lifeline to those families who have suffered lockdown in overcrowded accommodation.  Children in particular benefit from this expression of disapproval for the difficulties they suffer in these housing conditions - from sleep problems to simply not having the space to do homework.  In bringing their hidden struggles out in the open, they reject shame."

"Many of the hard-won rights that communities have fought for have come as a direct result of protest - people should be able to stand up for what they believe in and hold the Government and organisations accountable for their actions."

We are delighted that the following groups signed the letter

Focus E15 Housing Campaign
Acorn UK
JustFair UK
Dr. Steven Platts, CEO of Groundswell.
North West Migrants Forum
Alliance for choice 

January 2022