Political rally planned against controversial government bill

A May Day political rally will be held in Brighton in opposition to the Government’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill.

Friday, 30th April 2021, 3:36 pm
Updated Friday, 30th April 2021, 4:56 pm
A recent Kill the Bill demonstration in Brighton. Photo by Eddie Mitchell

It will take place at The Level on Saturday (May 1) and has been called by Brighton Trades Council, which has representatives from branches of all the major trade unions in the city,

The organisers say the aim of the event, held on the annual international workers’ day, is to raise awareness of the Bill’s potential impact on the rights of trade union members to picket as part of industrial action against their employers.

Matt Webb, General Secretary of Brighton Trades Council, said: “This Bill gives police forces up and down the country draconian powers to stop protests they deem to be a nuisance. Being a nuisance is what makes protest and strikes effective.”

“The potential impact on pickets needs to be seen in the context of a process, started during the miners strikes in the 1980s, that aims to erode the power and impact of trade unions.”

“But it’s not only unionised workers that will be harmed by this Bill. Criminalising trespass will have a disproportionate impact of Roma and Traveller communities, threatening their way of life.”

“And the idea that damaging statues should be on par with stalking and sexual assault - which also carry a maximum 10-year-sentence - sends out a message that attacking women is equal to pulling down the statue of slave trader.”

The rally will assemble at 1pm at the Level.

Speakers include Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP and Howard Beckett, assistant general secretary of UNITE the union.