KILL THE BILL – that is all
As I write this, I’m all of 2 minutes through my front door after attending the kill the bill protest.
I’m already under the covers- everything is cold, the flat is cold, I’m cold. The only warmth is the fire in my belly from the huge display of solidarity I just witnessed. People of all ages, classes, ethnicities, genders, sexualities stood on the main street in Leeds (and are doing so around the country in other cities) marching. Not just for ourselves, but for everyone.
One could argue that the roots of patriotism are nourished by the pitter patter rain drops of the individual turning to the storm of people coming together in making our voices heard, and in protesting against our country moving in a direction we do not like. Some would disagree. Those who do have likely never had to protest against a single thing, either happy to let others do it for them or that forefront demographic who will never need to protest against censure because the world is their platform.
The Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing bill is another bill which carries fascist tropes, designed to instil dogged obedience in the nation by removing or curtailing one of our fundamental rights- not, of course, outright criminalising protest but forcing bureaucracy and redundancy into it- those roots we just spoke of, throttled of nourishment by strangulation. Imagine the irony of having to apply to the police to protest against… the police? Imagine being arrested and charged for being a nuisance. Imagine facing years in prison because you blocked a road, shouted too loudly… This legislation is hand stitched by the fascist fingers of Priti Patel to sow discord amongst those who desperately need to protest to be heard and those whose cosseted lives make protest only something to watch, glossy eyed, on the TV.
The biggest irony known at present is that those who have spent two years of pandemia decrying their right to free speech, free faces, free bodies, are nowhere to be seen as our actual rights to live in democracy are threatened.
Standing surrounded by those who also feel the threat of this bill I encountered well spoken older people, students, foreign nationals, trans women, gay men, people of colour – all angry that their ability to speak out critically against a literally criminally inept government seeks to rip away our right to be heard in their flawed system.
I was also surrounded by those who I too often disparage as privileged- the everyman. Many of those at today’s protest were furious at the prospect of more rights being curtailed under the- not so much iron, but) wooden hand of Boris Johnson’s conservatives.
He’s taken so much from us in his short tenure with his attack ready home secretary ready to whip out more dangerous legislation.
Ask yourself, regardless of your political alignment, why you would ever happily sign rights that you’re entitled to away.
…and it’s not the first time
It’s mere weeks since the nationality and borders bill slugged through parliament. This bill has disenfranchised a disturbingly enormous proportion of the British populace. Some would say it’s divine right to be born and be a citizen of a realm- but others put in work to become, to naturalise, and to assimilate- and those people who have done so have had an abject lesson presented to them: that the tories will remove that from you at their whim. Even today I read a tweet from a man who has served the UK in his position as a soldier for 22 years- who faces deportation in 28 days.
Now we stand in the face of another bill, draconian in nature but more frankly just wrong.
The tories will continue to take, take, take from us- because we let them.
Stand up and kill the bill together. Or the only thing that dies is democracy.
Daviemoo is a 34 year old independent writer, radicalised into blogging about the political state of the world by Brexit and the election of serial failures like Trump and Johnson. Please check out the rest of the blog, check out Politically Enraged, the podcast available on all streaming platforms and share with your like minded friends! Also check him out on ko-fi where you can keep him caffeinated whilst he writes.