Skip to main content
A Magazine for

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield plan action to resist Policing Bill

This week the draconian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill passes through the House of Lords. Extinction Rebellion activist Hazel Bober talks about the importance of resisting the legislation and the action being taken in Sheffield to oppose it.

Kill the bill march sat 17th april 2021

'Kill the Bill' protest in Sheffield, 17 April 2021.

John Kennedy

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSC) Bill currently passing through parliament would make peaceful protest subject to undefined and excessive police powers, with already marginalised groups facing the greatest risk.

The change of law would mean protesters could be arrested for things like making noise and causing annoyance, surely a key part of any protest. It would increase police stop and search powers, which are already used disproportionately against black and brown people. It also includes measures that target Gypsy, Roma and traveller communities, further criminalising their ways of life.

This bill worries me on a personal level as a mum of mixed-race boys, who I imagine will want to play a part in protests and movements to create a fairer future. More widely, I feel this bill could put an end to what democracy we still have.

So many organisations around the UK are fighting this bill: Extinction Rebellion, Friends of the Earth, many Black Lives Matter groups, many faith groups, trade unions, mental health charities, various feminist and LGBTQ+ organisations. If any of these are causes you support, then fighting this bill is your cause too.

Image004

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield members during this week's meeting, January 2022.

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield used our Monday meeting time to engage in online action and plan a protest, which will take place in Sheffield this Saturday. I used some of this time to email my MP, Louise Haigh, and received a supportive reply from her, giving details of why she opposes the bill and her reassurance that she will continue to fight it.

Despite the sense of despair I feel about this draconian law, it's energising and inspiring to be involved with a community of people who are committed to taking action to defend our democracy.

We owe so many of the rights we enjoy today to the struggles and protests of the past. And in a world of unfolding climate chaos, the right to protest, to protect people and planet, has never been more important.

Learn more

The protest against the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Bill will convene outside Sheffield Town Hall on Saturday 15 January at 2pm.

Later this week, Extinction Rebellion Sheffield are also holding Zoom ‘Call A Lord’ sessions, where participants will be facilitated to phone politicians. People who want to take part can email XRSheffield.

Extinction Rebellion have produced resources to support people who want to resist the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which are hosted at digitalrebellion.uk/policingbill.

More Democracy & Activism

Trade unions: a complicated story

Trade unions are often accused of being anti-environmental, anti-democratic and out of touch. Ben Manovitch looks at what the future of organising needs to look like.

More Democracy & Activism