Where are we now?
The Lords voted down some parts of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, including unwarranted stop and search, criminalising locking on, and noise restriction on protests. However most of the original Bill is still set to pass, including the criminalisation of trespass in an attack on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities. Also moving up the parliamentary stages is the Nationality and Borders Bill, which gives the government the power to strip people of their citizenship without informing them. It has gone through the House of Commons and will go to the committee stage on 27th January.
Well so far focus has been on trying to prevent these Bills from passing, appealing to MPs and Lords to vote in our favour. But now it’s time to prepare ourselves for when they do pass. Whatever amendments are made, we can be sure that the Bills will still attack groups already most marginalised. It’s time to skill up so that we can defend our communities – practically and materially.
In London we have workshops planned throughout February on topics such as dearresting, self-defence, sectioning and your rights, and barricading. Stay tuned for dates and locations!
But let’s make February the month that communities prepare to defend themselves ACROSS THE UK, by sharing the practical knowledge we already have. And if we can, let’s not make these niche activist events but wider community skillshares. Remember, groups already most attacked by current legislation will know which strategies work best.
Will you help organise skillshares in your town or city so that people feel confident in resisting immigration raids, setting up a local Copwatch, and resisting Traveller site evictions? We’re looking forward to seeing them pop up all over the place – Fightback February means widespread community self-defence training!
We need to make these Bills unenforceable. This is how we start.
[Image description: Edited blue and red photograph of an immigration enforcement van surrounded by a large crowd. Text in white reads ‘CALLING FOR… FIGHTBACK FEBRUARY’]