Mover: Alistair Carmichael MP (Spokesperson for Home Affairs).
Summation: Daisy Cooper MP (Spokesperson on Education).
Motion as passed by conference
Conference notes with alarm the Conservative Government’s plans to restrict the right to protest through a wide-ranging new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, including new powers to prevent peaceful protests.
Conference believes that:
- The right to protest is a fundamental human right and a vital part of any democratic society; from the slave trade to women’s suffrage, workers’ rights to the Iraq War, protests have been an essential way for people to make their voices heard.
- The Conservatives’ proposals would seriously undermine that right and lead to people being unnecessarily criminalised simply for exercising it.
- These latest plans are part of this Conservative Government’s broader assault on the rule of law and its anti-democratic attempts to silence any opposition to its policies.
- Priti Patel’s consistently hostile attitude towards peaceful protests, including her description of Black Lives Matter protests as “utterly disgraceful”, “dreadful” and “illegal”.
- The Conservatives’ repeated attacks on the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act, which protect everyone’s rights to freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association with others.
Conference reaffirms the Liberal Democrats’ opposition to any attempts to weaken the Human Rights Act or undermine the rule of law in any way.
Conference strongly opposes the Government’s attempts to restrict the right to protest, and calls on the Home Secretary to drop these proposals.