As the House of Lords debates the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill
Tues 14 Sept, 1pm
Women protest vs the Police Bill — online and at:
Old Palace Yard SW1P 3JY (opp House of Lords) ● All welcome
Protect women, protect the planet. Tell the Lords to #Kill the Bill
WinVisible is supporting this protest called by Women of Colour Global Women’s Strike & Women Against Rape.
The Police Bill would criminalise protests which are ‘noisy’, ‘annoying’, cause ‘obstruction’, ‘trespass’ and ‘nuisance’. This is how we as disabled people, won accessible public transport and crucial anti-discrimination law that upholds our rights today. Read our history as “Wheelchair Warriors“.
In 2018, Lancashire Police beat up wheelchair users and other disabled protesters against fracking and sent video of them to the DWP. Greater Manchester Police has admitted reporting disabled protesters at Tory conferences to the DWP.
Women in WinVisible have been violently assaulted and tasered by the police when they were in mental distress going to be sectioned (detained in psychiatric hospital). In 2019, a teenage girl of colour who told Newham police driving past that she was disabled and needed their help, was batoned at least 30 times by PC Benjamin Kemp, CS gassed and tasered by another police unit that was called.
Women of Colour GWS and Women Against Rape say:
|Women are at the forefront of peaceful direct actions vs rape & domestic violence; poverty; climate emergency; Black Lives Matter; Gypsy, Roma & Travellers’ rights; family campaigns vs death in custody & racist murders; stop & search; sexist family courts; sexist, racist, anti-working-class policing; Palestinian-led BDS movement … Our demands have been met with decriminalisation of rape (1.6% conviction rate!) & repression of our movements.||Please watch & share our video clip|
The Bill invites a confrontation with the public and the police are already escalating violence and arrests of protestors in Bristol and elsewhere.
The 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. For decades they refused to investigate child abuse (see Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford, Jersey, Shirley Oaks…), and dismissed women reporting domestic violence (2 to 3 women a week are murdered by ex/partner!) and racist attacks.
Police have been found to be institutionally sexist, racist and corrupt. Officers commit violence with impunity, including against their partners ● 562 officers accused of sexual assault, 43 investigated, 0 convicted (2012-18) ● 666 reports of domestic abuse by officers, 5% convicted ● Former senior officer said that violent police are a ‘significant minority’ ● More than 1,746 people have died at the hands of police and immigration officers since 1990. Until PC Monk was found guilty of killing Dalian Atkinson in June 2021, no officer had been convicted for 40 years ● Black people are stopped & searched 9 times more than white people ● People with mental ill-health are indiscriminately tasered.
The Police Bill would:
· Criminalise protests which are ‘noisy’, ‘annoying’, cause ‘obstruction’, ‘trespass’ and ‘nuisance’.
· Further criminalise Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities.
· Bring in new Serious Violent Crime Reduction Orders leading to curfews and more stop and search.
· Legally oblige public sector workers (healthcare, schools and youth services) to work with police to ‘predict crime’.
· Lengthen sentences, and move the automatic release date from half-way through a sentence to two-thirds. Most women in prison are victims of rape/other violence.
· Whole life sentences for children as young as 10. This without even considering evidence of widespread abuse by guards in juvenile secure units, secure children’s homes and detention centres.
The Police Bill adds to other repressive laws that increase state impunity, such Spy Cops and the Overseas Operations Bill. The Police Bill will strengthen the worst policing and invite violent, sexist, racist elements to join.
See Women Against Rape’s full statement: https://womenagainstrape.net/why-women-oppose-the-police-crime-sentencing-courts-bill/#more-6580