Advertisement
Activism

Kill the Bill protesters vow to make new ‘anti-democratic’ laws unenforceable

‘So what now? Do give up and accept our fate? No chance.’

Protesters have vowed to make two new “anti-democratic” laws unenforceable.

Campaigners from the Kill the Bill coalition say the Nationality and Borders Bill and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which both finally passed parliament this week, signal the “erasure of civil liberties.”

The Policing Bill grants police the power to restrict protests which are deemed too “noisy”, while the Borders Bill has introduced a range of immigration powers, including the power to process asylum seekers offshore.

Subscribe to The Big Issue

From just £3 per week

Take a print or digital subscription to The Big Issue and provide a critical lifeline to our work. With each subscription we invest every penny back into supporting the network of sellers across the UK. A subscription also means you'll never miss the weekly editions of an award-winning publication, with each issue featuring the leading voices on life, culture, politics and social activism.

Both bills were the subject of ongoing protests, including widespread Kill the Bill rallies across the country in March 2021 and January 2022.

Home secretary Priti Patel said the Borders Bill represented “the first step in overhauling our decades-old, broken asylum system.”

But campaigners have said the bills’ passage would not stop their efforts.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Support The Big Issue

Give your local vendor a hand up and buy the magazine

Labour MP Nadia Whittome said the laws were an attempt to demonise marginalised groups.

She said: “The passing of these bills is another dangerous turn towards authoritarianism. They will take away people’s rights – to citizenship, to protest, to asylum and more.”

Bhavini Patel, an activist with Kill the Bill and Extinction Rebellion, said the new laws terrified her.

She added: “I stand united with all those seeking justice, ready to support my brothers and sisters in the communities worse affected by this unbelievable attack on our rights and am ready to make the Bills unenforceable.”

wins by activists
Protesters at a Kill the Bill march in January 2022. Image: Chris Jerrey/Extinction Rebellion

Former police officer Chantelle Lunt, now a Black Lives Matter activist, said: “As a former police officer, who left the force due to institutional racism and misogyny in the ranks, I know that these new police powers will be abused to harm marginalised and minority communities.

“We, the public, did not consign to living in a police state and we must collectively withdraw consent to unfettered police powers.”

The Policing Bill also drew resistance to measures which campaigners said discriminated against Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities.

Jake Bowers, co-chair of the Drive 2 Survive campaign group, said the bill’s passage means police have greater powers to persecute nomadic Gypsies and Travellers.

He added: “So what now? Do give up and accept our fate? No chance.”

Andy Greene, an activist from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), said: “This law is wrong. It won’t take away our voices because we have fought too hard to be heard. But they will try to divide us. And to criminalise us for fighting for our lives.

“We won’t let them. We dare not. This law won’t stop us. See you in the streets.”

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Fuel protests: What you need to know about the protesters blocking roads
Activism

Fuel protests: What you need to know about the protesters blocking roads

Just Stop Oil: Who are the protesters storming race tracks and oil refineries?
Just Stop Oil

Just Stop Oil: Who are the protesters storming race tracks and oil refineries?

Pride at 50: 'What has been kept alive is the spirit of fun that marked out that first march'
Pride

Pride at 50: 'What has been kept alive is the spirit of fun that marked out that first march'

Teenage activists deliver wheelbarrows of mud to Kellogg's factory to protest 'misleading' health claims
Healthy food

Teenage activists deliver wheelbarrows of mud to Kellogg's factory to protest 'misleading' health claims

Most Popular

Read All
Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff
1.

Exclusive: BT call centre sets up 'food bank' for its own staff

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'
2.

Prince William: 'Why I wanted to work with The Big Issue'

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'
3.

Rainn Wilson emailed Star Trek: Strange New Worlds to say Harry Mudd would 'fit right in'

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself
4.

The UK approach to replacing the Human Rights Act is just as worrying as the replacement itself

Keep up to date with The Big Issue. The leading voice on life, politics, culture and social activism direct to your inbox.