Leftists are increasingly waging war against the freedom of expression and embracing the cancel culture. “Conservative” Boris Johnson has shown many similarities to Justin Trudeau, from his handling of immigration policy and public scandals to how he deals with protests.
Over in Canada, Ottawa police have announced a crackdown in advance on a “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle freedom event that was expected to attract thousands to Ottawa. Vehicle exclusion zones in downtown Ottawa will be implemented to prevent anything developing that is remotely similar to the February Freedom Truck Convoy.
And now in Britain, this new law gives police the authority to “clamp down on otherwise peaceful protests if they are deemed too ‘noisy’ and cause ‘intimidation or harassment’ or ‘alarm or distress’ to the public.”
It isn’t clear how “too noisy” will be measured or what “intimidation or harassment” constitutes, and that’s exactly the problem. There is altogether too much latitude for police “discretion” here, and can easily be used to clamp down on dissent.
“‘Police State’ — Legislation Criminalising ‘Noisy’ Protests to Become Law in Britain,” by Kurt Zindulka, Breitbart, April 28, 2022:
Controversial legislation empowering police forces to crackdown on “noisy” protests in Britain is set to become law after passing through the House of Lords on Tuesday evening.
By a margin of 180 to 113, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was approved by the House of Lords, meaning that it will be sent for Royal Assent to become enacted into law.
The policing bill covers a wide-ranging manner of law enforcement issues, however, a section concerning the policing of protests has garnered widespread criticism, and in some cases violent protests from left-wing radicals.
Under the new law, police in England and Wales will be given authority to clamp down on otherwise peaceful protests if they are deemed too “noisy” and cause “intimidation or harassment” or “alarm or distress” to the public.
The government began crafting the bill in response to disruptive protests from far-left activist organisations such as Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion, which have both cost the taxpayer millions in policing overtime and deployment costs.
Opponents of the legislation have claimed that it will remove the fundamental aspect of protest, namely, to cause disruption in order to have a message noticed by the wider public.
Criticising the legislation, Liberal Democrat Lord Paddick noted that “the more popular the protest, the more likely it is to be noisy and the more likely it is to be banned.”
The House of Lords peer, who previously served as a deputy assistant commissioner in the Metropolitan Police, went on to warn: “Allowing the police to prevent people peacefully meeting together—to ban political rallies, for example—surely puts us on the slippery slope of the erosion of fundamental human rights and the imposition of a police state.”
Amnesty International UK CEO Sacha Deshmukh said: “This is dark day for civil liberties in the UK. This deeply-authoritarian Bill places profound and significant restrictions on the basic right to peacefully protest and will have a severely detrimental impact on the ability of ordinary people to make their concerns heard…..