Normally on flammable we bring you two or three different bits of news about other struggles, but seeing as stuff is kicking off in the UK, some comrades felt that focusing it around the proposed “Police, crime and sentencing Bill” would be a good idea.

The UK parliament is pushing a new law that threatens the right to protest, sending people who are taking part in “very annoying or inconvenient” protests away for up to ten years in prison, as well as criminalising the very existence of travellers and Roma folk by criminalising trespass and adding prison sentences to the “crime”. It even mentions the possibility of deportation for foreign folk who accept a caution at a protest, or who are found guilty of being part of an inconvenient protest. It is a dangerous law that affects protest camps, targets homeless folk and ensures hunt sabs will not be able to do their job, for example, and amplifies the already brutal powers that the police has to stop dissenting voices.

For that reason, thousands of people have taken to the streets in major cities across the UK. Protests, demonstrations, and even unapologetically militant actions have taken place to oppose the proposed law, and it is believed to be on the increase.

Folks have taken many forms of creative action. We’ve seen banner drops deployed on trees by climbing activists, people purposely trespassing to liberate animals or smashing traps, and multiple squats have popped up in defiance to the PSCB.

Last Thursday, and after organising a free food share in a pizza squat in London, riot police entered RAT’s new occupied restaurant and launched a violent attack against the squatters inside. Someone was beaten unconscious, and everybody was arrested on bogus charges.

Police brutality doesn’t end there. Bristol has seen riot police repeatedly hitting folk with batons for committing the crime of not moving from the floor, and this morning it surfaced that a journalist was tricked into getting close to the police just to be arrested and another journalist was badly beaten whilst filming the demonstration.

Folks are taking action to protect the right to protest and they are doing so in whatever manner they believe is right. In an interview, someone who was present during the first Bristol protest said “Soon we will not be able to go out on the streets to demonstrate, so it does not surprise me that someone burnt that police van. If we are gonna go to prison, we might as well give them fire”. 

From squatters to folks fighting for the earth, ALF activists and even folks without any political background are fighting this bill. If you are in the UK, leaderless demos are being called in multiple cities. They advise folk to wear black and to mask up to keep safe. From abroad, folks are calling for over and underground actions in solidarity to make as much noise as possible about the new authoritarian law. 

 Solidarity with our comrades in the UK fighting this madness. 


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