In January 2022, Q&B joined some 300 other businesses in petitioning the House of Lords to reject clauses in the Policing Bill to give the police new powers to stop protests. The letter we co- signed was as follows:
Dear Members of the House of Lords,
In the UK, we all have the right to come together peacefully to express our views and to raise our voices on the issues that matter most to us. From the anti-apartheid movement to the recent school strikes for climate, this shared right to protest is a proud part of our collective history, and sits at the heart of our democratic system today. On behalf of UK businesses, we urge you to vote against the government’s last minute amendments to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that experts warn will restrict those most fundamental rights.
As business leaders, we believe that the UK’s fair and open democratic and legal processes are the backbone of our economy. We recognise this decade holds particular urgent challenges and demands concerted effort from all parts of society. To address climate change with the urgency required, and to better meet the needs of all people, we need government action, as well as public support and demonstration to make the necessary change happen.
Please vote to remove Part 3 of the Bill and support amendments which reduce the impact of the provisions in Part 3. Specifically, please support amendments that remove anti protest provisions in the Bill (clauses 56-62) or reduce their impact, including:
- Removal of noise as a trigger for imposing conditions (amendments 115, 123, 124, 125)
- Removal of provisions which allow people to be convicted for breaching police conditions on protests that they ‘ought to have known’ about.
Please reject the government’s new amendments (amendments 148-159) when they are put to a vote in January 2022. Including:
- The government amendment on Serious Disruption Prevention Orders (amendment 159).
- Increased protest related Stop and search powers (amendment 154, 155, 156, 157, and 158)
We, the undersigned businesses, share a profound concern about the far-reaching implications of the proposed amendments. We therefore call on all members of the House of Lords to attend and vote at Report stage on Part 3 (Jan 17th).
The thriving, purposeful business community in the UK has been shaped by long standing British traditions of peaceful activism. In recent years, national movements and protests for social justice and climate action have been instrumental in catalysing positive change at the heart of many of our businesses.
As business leaders, we will continue to speak out to defend and protect our rights, and the rights of our employees, customers and communities to safely participate in that proud tradition of activism.
Members of the House of Lords, please use your powers to protect these rights for our current and next generations
Quakers and Business