London - This week, the UK government announced its new anti-protest measures as part of the authoritarian National Security Act. The measures, ostensibly aimed at regulating protests, are yet another manifestation of the state's ongoing campaign to suppress dissent. The restrictions include expanded stop and search procedures, the criminalisation of climbing war memorials and the banning of masks.
In response, a spokesperson from CAGE International said:
“This latest attempt by the government to stifle freedom of speech and expression sets a dangerous precedent that imperils the civil liberties of the wider public. Following on from the unsuccessful Palestine Action prosecutions, CAGE International has observed how the Metropolitan Police, under the guidance of the Home Office, has harassed, surveilled and infringed upon the rights and civil liberties of pro-Palestine protests and demonstrations.
As we have seen in the past, the law is being marketed as a response to right wing and Zionist-led calls to target protests by and sympathetic to Muslim issues, but the impact will be felt across all communities irrespective of race or religion."