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Defend the Right to Protest » Petition


The Defend The Right To Protest Campaign supports the unprecedented resistance that has risen up against the government’s brutal attack on further and higher education, including the tripling of tuition fees, abolition of EMA and massive cuts in courses and jobs.

We support the demonstrations that took place on 10 November 2010, 24 November 2021 and 9 December 2021 that saw tens of thousands of students, lecturers and education campaigners march against the government’s plans.

We also support the wave of protests and occupations against the privatisation of education that have taken place on campuses across the country.

Yet, these protests have been met with astonishing and violent response from the police, including the routine use of kettling, batons and charges by mounted police. On 9 December 2021 philosophy student Alfie Meadows needed emergency brain surgery after receiving a blow to the head by police in Parliament Square. Activist Jody McIntyre was twice dragged out of his wheelchair by police. Over 180 people, most of them under the age of 25, have so far been arrested in the course of these protests.

The Defend The Right To Protest Campaign unequivocally condemns the behaviour and the use of crowd control and intimidation tactics by the police such as kettling, batoning, use of police dogs, charges b mounted police, use of tasers, use of film interviews of unaccompanied minors, and other techniques that threaten the right to protest and deter people from demonstrating.

We therefore pledge to:

  • Defend all those protesters who have been arrested, bailed or charged and are fighting to clear their names.
  • Condemn police brutality and the use of violence on demonstrations against those who have a right to protest against government policy.
    Call for an end to kettling and use of all other crowd control tactics that intimidate and threaten the right to protest.
  • Join the UCU and NUS in demanding a public enquiry and investigation into the arrests of demonstrators and brutalities against them, including an investigation into the police officers involved in the assaults.

We also believe it is vital for all those who value our democratic right to protest to stand in solidarity with students and others who have been arrested or injured by police on these demonstrations.

We appeal to parents, teachers, education workers, trade unionists and anti-cuts campaigners to come to their assistance, build support for them - and join them when they march again to defend our education and the future of the welfare state.

To add your name or organisation to the list of supporters use the form below.

383 Responses to "Petition"

  1. mike pearn says:

    Mike Pearn - member CWU

    1. daniel makepeace says:

      We have a scared and insecure government led by public schoolboys acting in a way they know best. thrashing out and attempting to denigrate anyone who opposes them. Sadly the police are used as pawns in the rich boys game.
      We have not had anything like democracy in the UK since maggie’s Public Order Act 1996.

      1. Karl Merckx says:

        The Evils of Thatcherism are the Bible of the 3 main parties . The LAB/ CON/LIB traitors are exploiters of the inmates of this deranged country . It’s a pity the miners were not able to ‘police’ the plod demonstration. But the miners are not brutal , criminal thugs .

    2. Heather Wakefield says:

      Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government, Police and Justice, UNISON

  2. Nadia Murdoch says:

    University of Glasgow Nursing student

  3. Gareth Jones says:

    Dont let the bast*rds win!

  4. Benjamin Black says:

    Protest just is. How it happens is a sign of the health of a People. No permission should be asked for it. Its justice stems from basic principles of morality. The fact that it can be so easily challenged reflects the switched-off and complacent nature of the greater part of the public at large. Most of them do not realise that, pretty soon, they will be the target. But will they know how to protest? The violent and thuggish response to protest on behalf of the Government merely shows just how rattled by it they are. They also have an arrogant view of protesters as being something less.

  5. Roger Huddle says:

    They say get back. We say fightback.

  6. Imprison the expenses fiddling MPs, not peaceful democratic protestors who want a better world!

    1. Paul Russon says:

      Very well said.

  7. Sue Brock says:

    we must not allow the right of protest to be eroded!

  8. Robin von Mickwitz says:

    i was on the recipient end of kettling in Manchester on the ‘future that works’ demo, committed no offense and we cause to miss my coach home, requiring me to borrow money from fellow protesters to get home. I was also on the receiving end of police violence on saturday, being beaten to the ground with batons simply because i was pushed into an officer. The police are more and more regularly using violence to repress peaceful protesters to scare them into submission, and I’m sick of it, so i fully support your cause. No more Ian Tomlinsons!

  9. Bobbie Petford says:

    Never has this been more necessary.

  10. Stephen Granville says:

    I have been a Trade Union activist all my life & now the Retired Members Secretary of the Communications Workers Union, CWU, London South East branch..

  11. Bill Houghton says:

    Free speech is never free, it takes hard work to protect our rights.
    Thank You

  12. Richard Lighten says:

    UNISON, Manchester Metropolitan University

  13. gary lester says:

    I was in attendance at Trafalgar square on saturday 26th of March.I can catorgorically confirm that the whole battle of Trafalgar square was started by the riot police.Up until there intervention with riot shields and batons,it was a lovely peaceful atmosphere.Something tells me that the government really do not want a Tahir square type sit in to happen here.

  14. Nick Smith says:

    IWW, York Stop the Cuts

  15. Alex Greene says:

    I assert my right to protest, and maintain it as an inalienable and sacrosanct right which no government or organisation can take away.

  16. Karen Hopwood says:

    more than ever, as history continues to repeat itself, we have to defend our rights as this government strips us of what it can with viscious speed.

  17. Jeff Fowler says:

    We must resist all measures by the State that attempt to restrict our right to protest without hindrance.

  18. Samir A says:

    Protest brought about so much of what is perceived of as intrinsic to our society. If we lose that, we destroy the ability of our society to develop.

  19. Anne O'Donnell says:


  20. Victor Cosby says:


  21. Nigel McCorkell says:

    “The argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics.” Emmeline Pankhurst

  22. I was in the kettle in Trafalgar Square on 26th March. The police were brutal. Their presence was unnecessary. It’s gotta stop!!

  23. I was in the kettle in Trafalgar Square on 26th March. The police were brutal. Their presence was unnecessary. It’s got to stop!!

  24. Ruth Gilburt says:

    We must resist all attempts to diminish, curtail and otherwise impede the right to protest.

  25. Andrew says:

    stop more breaches against humankind - (but i struggle with all this when i see the fear in the coppers eyes too…even more sick)

  26. Gary Stacey says:

    Peaceful, serious, anarchist.

  27. Sam Turner says:

    In a supposed democracy the right to protest is sacrosanct! What are you scared of, you greedy corrupt sleaze-bag CONDEM government!

  28. Human right must be observed we should be allowed to protest, yet there are idiots that ruins it for all. They are just trouble makes and should be ignored.

  29. Jo Flower says:

    Count me in!

  30. James Dudeney says:

    The right to protest is a fundamental necessity, just like freedom of expression. I do not wish to be governed by a totalitarian state!

  31. Alan Green says:

    And they reckon we live in a democracy??

  32. Kirsty says:

    You have my support.

  33. becky says:

    we so say live in a democracy , restrictions on the right protest have no place in our country .

  34. Daniel Key says:

    Defend the right to protest

  35. Evie Skinner says:

    Solidarity brothers!

  36. Marylyn Edwards says:

    Police and state brutality of citizens engaged in public protest must stop. This is intimidation, tyranny and oppression of people who are engaged in civic responsibility by attempting to get their voice heard.

  37. Catherine Litton says:

    We have a democratic right to protest if we feel the government is not acting in the best interests of the electorate.

  38. BOHOLLO says:

    freedom of expression and of demonstration are at stake.

  39. Margaret Gordon says:

    I support this campaign

    1. Chassidy says:

      Good point. I hadn’t thoguht about it quite that way. :)

  40. Peter Smurthwaite says:

    This is a fundamental right.

  41. hannah vicarage says:

    Free speech is a basic human right, I will do all I can to defend that.

  42. Fanny Lefevre says:

    I was vey shocked to see on the demo of the 26th of March, some
    police officers with their face covered.

  43. Sally Rushbrook says:

    As long as people are dissatisfied they will find a way to protest and we need to let those out there who are trying to silence or deter the current wave of dissatisfaction know that our intention is to make it clear without disruoption… the disruption only springs from limitations to our right to express ourself in a so called civilised country.

  44. Steve Freeman says:

    Protest is the only legitimate way that the ordinary person can make their views known to those in power. We should defend it to the death

  45. Howard Rees says:

    no comment

  46. Hannah Sapsford says:

    They should not be allowed to get away with such violence and force. We are human brings and deserve respect from our Government!

  47. Ruth Styles says:

    After what i saw and have subsequently discovered about the police behaviour on both the Student demonstration last year and events in London on 26th March, you have my support

  48. School and FE Students have been at the very heart of the recent student protests. We’ve taken a lead in demanding that politicians keep their promises and in showing what rubbish it is that young people are apathetic or don’t care about politics.

    Join us on facebook

    Follow us on Twitter!/SSAFAC

  49. Robin Kinrade says:

    Police officers who claim that protesters were ‘almost asking to be hit’ or similar, should be immediately and permanently suspended from crowd control duties.

    1. Chris East says:

      Absolutely!! I think that the police are now ‘gunning’ for fights through provocation!

  50. The fact that the right to protest is under question is a sign that we must insist, regardless of the risk, on our right to protest. The violence meted out by the police, from direct instructions from senior government, is designed to put people off protesting. It is having the opposite effect. More people are out on the streets, insisting on their right to protest, than ever before. We are winning. Thanks to you.

  51. Ray Campbell says:

    The right to protest is a human right. Don’t let them take it away from us.

  52. Ruth Barnett says:

    Monday 11 April 2022

  53. Sairah Tariq says:


  54. Natasha Rodrigues says:

    Count me in! You have my support!

  55. Steve westwood says:

    i am Spartacus…

  56. Charlie Cameron says:

    The police are meant to ‘protect and serve’ the people, however in the recent demonstrations I’ve seen absolutely no evidence of police doing either. We have a right to stand up for what we believe in without being intimidated, threatened and abused by the very people who are meant to be helping us.

  57. Chris East says:

    When people protest against their Governments abroad our Government defends their right to protest (and you can’t exactly say that there has been peaceful protest abroad!) Protests in this Country have been met with violence from the authorities and in one tragic circumstance even a death by the hands of the police (which the person concerned is still denying the fact and is blatantly lying about the incident!)

  58. Marc Dauncey says:

    Support this totally. Enough political policing and suppression of our rights.

  59. Bill Cook says:

    You don’t even have to support these protests to think the way they have been policed is an utter disgrace. This is not a party political issue, it’s about the right to protest and to be policed by consent rather than force.

  60. Malcolm Carpenter says:

    It’s not just the act of protest which is being restricted. It’s an attack on democracy - the State engages in deception like say over the Gulf Wars and the alternative voices are silenced. Who is to say what is legitimate protest is it the Police Tactical Support Group.

  61. Joe McDonnell says:

    Don’t let the government and police collude to destroy your future rights.

    Stand up for your future!

  62. Tom Wein says:

    The right to protest - including in Westminster, and including at times and in places where it may be awkward for the police - is a civil liberty fundamental to our democracy. It must be upheld.

  63. Rhys Davies says:

    it isn’t a democracy if the people can’t peacefully protest.

  64. anushka kandola says:

    How can the police justify pulling a student off their wheelchair or beating protestors on the head with bats? The next generation have no respect for police officers and now i understand why. End police brutality and defend our right to peacefully protest.

  65. Skye McDade-Burn says:

    What is the point of a police force that attacks citizens? Their stated aim is to prevent violence, not start it.

  66. Ian Cropton says:

    Peaceful protest wins the moral war. It can’t be ignored or spun. That’s why the slavemasters would like to undermine our right to protest. Fight back and defend this fundamental right.

  67. Luke Shore says:

    The right to protest is a key aspect of democratic society. It should not be restricted or compromised in any way. The police are there to protect the people, not to repress them!

  68. Phil Cattani says:

    Fight police attempts at intimidation.

  69. David Gilbertson QPM says:

    Deputy Assistant Commissioner, New Scotland Yard, (Retired 2001)

  70. Pam Gil says:

    The defense of this right to protest is critical.

  71. Julia Cushion says:

    Surely Britain is a society where we should be able to voice our opinions, in a variety of ways including protesting

  72. Paul Williams says:

    Paul Williams - Member of the Musicians’ Union

  73. Jackie Gillespie says:

    Thankyou and well done for setting this campaign up.I ahve been disturbed by the establishments determination to view protesting as a disruptive force rather than an attempt at negotiation.This was made clear to me when I heard Sir Paul Stephenson speak on bbc radio ulster ‘The Stephen Nolan show’ just a few days before the g8 protests when Ian Tomlinson was killed.He said”These people just want to cause disruption and mayhem”.. They have already decided in their minds what they are dealing with and their methods of response are formed from that

  74. Mark Oliver says:

    Sixty people arrested for causing trouble at recent demonstrations have been banned from London on Friday. Met police Cdr Christine Jones said: ‘Any criminals attempting to disrupt it, be that in the guise of a protest or otherwise, will be met by a robust, decisive, flexible and proportionate policing response.’

    So protest is a criminal act in the UK according to the Met.

  75. Tom Claydon says:

    It’s clear that the aggressive tactics are intended to have a chilling effect on protesters and would-be protesters. Maybe we all shouldn’t let ourselves be bullied out of exercising our rights. Keep hitting the streets, people.

  76. Olga Irini Kazakou says:

    I live and teach in Greece. The right to protest is at stake here too. You have my support.

    1. Karl Merckx says:

      Best wishes to our Greek friends . Our thoughts are with you as we all resist our corrupt , criminal governments, criminal police violence and austerity .

  77. I wanted to sign the petition. Why am I required to leave a comment?

  78. James Tanner says:

    The erosion of our civil liberties and rights to protest over the last decade has been staggering. It is now no longer hyperbole to talk of a creeping police state. This must be reversed as a matter of urgency.

  79. David says:

    Don’t think there’s anything that hasn’t already been said.

  80. Dr.Dylan Murphy says:

    The ordinary people of this country have fought for centuries to have the right to freedom of exprp to ession and freedom to demonstrate. It is upto all of us to fight to uphold these democratic rights.

  81. Dr.Dylan Murphy says:

    The ordinary people of this country have fought for centuries to have the right to freedom of expression and freedom to demonstrate. It is upto all of us to fight to uphold these democratic rights.

  82. Amy Wilkes says:

    Member of UWSU.
    I was at a tiny UK Uncut demonstration on Oxford St. There were about 15 of us, and 60 police officers. We didn’t even enter any shops, but each of our faces were filmed. We went for a drink afterwards and the police surrounded the pub until the very last of us left. Just one example of the absurd tactics being employed to make people voicing an objection to the way our country is being run look like violent, dangerous people.

  83. Kevin Hedley says:

    As an Englishman who has lived abroad for many years, I get a very uncomfortable feeling when reading about the way demonstrations are dealt with in the UK now while simultaneously our government condemns repression of protest in the Arab world.

  84. Anna Machell says:

    I count myself as someone who previously had sympathy for the police and was naive about their role in society but since October last year I’ve been present as unarmed, peaceful people are assaulted, arrested and traumatised, all for daring to raise their voices. There’s a well-known poem that warns against silence lest there be no one left to defend you. Speak out now.

    1. Socrates says:

      I agree with Anna Machell, and was also previously fully supportive of the police. But, I was in brighton last weekend and saw the Mayday demonstration and was really made to feel sad by how the police tried to intimidate those taking part. I was scared of the policemen outside the pub and I know the blokes around me sheltering in the doorway were too. loads more police than protestors, massive horses, vans and cars everywhere and the helicopter in the air for hours. I wasn’t in the demo but felt a bit sick after seeing what was going on. What about our future? How long must we accept being governed by manipulative, lying, fiddling politicians? Since then I’m much more likely to be more involved. Thanks for opening my eyes and getting me off my arse.

  85. Katie Scaife says:

    Peaceful protesting is a vital means of making our society more humane. Restricting the ability to protest peacefully demonstrates a government’s comtempt for the entire population - including themselves really, as a government is just a collection of our fellow citizens, albeit often horribly privileged ones. A more equal society benefits everybody, and obviates the fear of dissent.

  86. Gerry Barnett says:

    I have the right to protest, and long may this right exist into the future, as proof that we live in a civilised society.

  87. Alycia Hind says:

    The right to protest peacefully is a vital part of any civilized society.

  88. Catherine Palgrave says:

    The right to protest should be upheld in a true democracy, the so called democratically elected government are eroding this at every turn. We need to stop them doing this.

  89. Benjamin Black says:

    The right to protest is a human right, which merely reflects its centrality in respectable and expected human behaviour between different groups harbouring competing interests. All the talk of multiculturalism and patriotism… all an immigrant need do to properly fit in in this country, is watch tv, read the gutter press and do DIY. This now represents the extent of freedom demanded by citizens of this country. Both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats should be challenged on and held to pre-election claims of returning civil liberties robbed from this country by New Labour. Labour itself should show its intent to re-join the People by promising to restore their hard won and blood drenched liberties.

  90. Kiki Madden says:

    The supposed right to peaceful protest is a hollow promise and the licence granted to the police is terrifying - just look at the treatment of Alfie Meadows and poor Ian Tomlinson. If we don’t make a stand it will be even further eroded.

  91. Steve Catchpole says:

    For my grandchildren.

  92. Gearóid Ó Cuinn says:

    University of Nottingham

  93. Alastair Gray says:

    I fully support this petition.

  94. enya says:

    I support this campaign to defend a human right

  95. Wendy Gates says:

    Why should we not be heard when we are telling the truth

  96. K Timberley says:

    We must all defend our right to peaceful protest. It is one of the few freedoms left.

  97. Elaine Carville says:

    On one hand, The British Ambassador to the U N is condemming Arab leaders for their response to protest and on the other hand I find myself having to sign up to a movement to support our right to protest here in Britain. What the Hell is going on I ask myself ?

  98. James Allen says:

    The right to peaceful protest is a fundamental part of any democracy, and must be defended.

  99. Be the democracy you want to see!

  100. Shanti says:

    “The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” A.Camus

  101. Frank Phillips says:

    The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.
    Edmund Burke 1777. Letter to the Sheriff of Bristol.

    Who says history does not repeat itself.

  102. Catherine Whyte says:

    The right to protest is sacred

  103. robert shaw says:

    how many rights must we lose before we stand up and say ‘enough is enough’?

  104. Amy Kellam says:

    There is scant space left for people to meaningfully engage in politics anymore. Not only have our media and schools become dumbed down our statesmen have too. If the infrastructure for democracy existed in this country there would be little need to protest. A government serious about preventing protest would be working to build such an infrastructure: instead they appear to be dismantling what democratic processes we have left. Until there is genuine engagement, transparency and accountability, the protest movement will remain the only valid space for politics in this country.

  105. Pardeep Sahota says:

    For a more just and peaceful world.

  106. david moore says:


  107. Tom Maltby says:

    The Metropolitan Police are terrible they would create a police state tomorrow if they could. Solidarity.

  108. Howard Thorp says:

    As society becomes more unfair and unequal so the authorities will try to criminalise peaceful protest. We have seen this with the criminalisation of peaceful protest by Climate Camp and other environmental protests. The right to dissent is an essential part of our democracy - it must be defended.

  109. marc smith says:

    History is repeating itself in less than three decades. Stating the obvious i know. Why oh why! Do we keep punishing ourselves by re-electing these; neo-liberal, ideologically motivated, elitist authoritarians. Surely we are going to wake up one day and shout: you have no legitimate rule anymore! Freedom surely means free to decide our own legitimate rule, for the benefit of the citizens by the citizens. Great thinkers and academics ignored: “democracy inevitably leads to totalitarianism”. Give me my freedom back, for your hegemonic bubble is straining under the weight of your monetary ideologies. Keep your political pendulum steady and stop adding too many weights. I protest because i am proud. 16 years of sacrifice and service for the freedom of my nation, not for your freedom to rule. NOW I DEFEND MY RIGHT TO PROTEST!

  110. Ian Haywood says:

    Now we are told that the police will remove ‘offensive’ banners or placards during the royal wedding - this is a new low and smacks of intolerance.

  111. Simon Jay says:

    Protests are a fundamental right in any democracy, to question their validity is dangerous…

  112. Alexandra Peck says:

    Democracy should not be something that happens once every four years, but a right for anyone, anytime, any place to engage with political decision making. Protest should never need permission nor be banned, controlled, repressed or physically restricted. Thanks for organising Defend the Right To Protest -what a shame there should be a need to defend it.

  113. Despina says:

    Defend the right to protest

  114. Erika Lopez says:

    Canadian- IT specialist/mother
    In memory of Neda- Iran
    and the many protestors hurt in Canada at the last G-8 summit.

  115. Alexander Radovic says:

    The right to peaceful protest is the foundation of a true democracy.

    Without it we all need to start asking “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”, “Who will guard the guards themselves?”.

  116. Dr Adam Ure says:

    I support the right to protest freely and without fear of illegal detention, violence, or police harassment. This is a fundamental human right.

  117. kate magic says:


  118. Rory Rowan says:

    Geography PhD Student, Royal Holloway, University of London.

  119. Euan Harvey says:

    Tell the Met where to stick it.

  120. Felix Riley says:

    I don’t take my family on marches not because of my fears of fellow protesters but because of my fear of police tactics.

    Our democracy is a shiny bauble held up to distract us. We laud the protests of the suppressed in the Middle East but woe-betide us if we exercise our own right to dissent. I think we have sleep-walked into a state of control we did not vote for or ask for. Now we have to ask for our democracy to be re-instated.

  121. Felix Riley says:

    Sorry, wrong web address(!)

  122. Andrew Cawtheray says:

    Protest is best.

  123. Mark Burke says:

    I demand the right to protest!

  124. Tom Johns says:

    Democractic right. Never let it go.

  125. Paula Dauncey says:

    I support this!

  126. Brian Conway-Smith says:

    Freedom of speech and the right to protest are corner stones of our democracy. Violence is never the answer and state violence is a totally unacceptable response to anyone exercising their basic rights.

  127. George Major says:

    Student, Goldsmiths University of London.

  128. All human beings have the right to protest, the police do not have the right to stop human beings protesting.

  129. Miranda Maton-Jenner says:

    Protest worked for CND & the Poll Tax, without police violence; it should safe for students to protest without fear of gratuitous violence & proscecution.

  130. Patrick Whiteside says:


  131. Romāns Sēja says:

    A Labour government ignored 1,000,000 protesters against the invasion of Iraq then after the inevitable acts of revenge on the British mainland imposed draconian laws on the right to protest. Protests were banned in Parliament Square because sitting members did not want to hear these voices. The police can can arrest and imprison for seemingly innocuous comments (Donaster airport). Whatever one does the police will be able to find a law to arrest one however innocuous. This present government will not dilute any of the above and will protect the interests of their own, Lords, bankers and the like, and will make persistent announcements to create fear, details of which only they are entitled to (the tank in Heathrow!).

  132. Steve Baillie says:

    Look on the bright side they havn’t got snipers on the roof tops? Yet!

  133. mark menezes says:

    I remember when I was studying at the University of Manchester in the early late eighties, a student was harassed by Greater Manchester Police undercover personnel, his rooms were ransacked and he was subject to general intimidation. The personnel involved were eventually identified. I do know if any justice was done but their actions were far from the Dixon of Dock Green idyll posted in the media. I think that the student had been witness to Greater Manchester Police intimidation tactics hence their interest in him. I would put the cause of this issue at the feet of all previous administrations going back to the eighties, a choice to use the police to intimidate and harass individuals who wish to voice their opinion about government policy in conjunction with a compliant media who report in sensationalist terms in order to sell their papers (good for commerce, not for the truth, but hey who wants to tell the truth if that is not going to sell more papers and not make you as much money). It seems to me that when the British people decide to do more than politely mutter about things, they seem to being slapped down by police, government and the media, BBC included. I do know some people working in the force and they are really nice people. I suppose that the only polite way to deal with the impolite people within the force and the government is to vote with your feet at the ballot box and secondly stage a protest with only women and children. Would see if the Met and media could give them a kettling good time.

  134. Trevor T D Welland says:

    When the fundamental right to protest in a democracy is threatened, we must expose that threat and act. Acting together we can be so much more effective.

  135. Writer, campaigning journalist. Former employee Greenpeace Germany.

  136. Neil Annett says:

    Suffolk and Proud-hon

    1. Jaylynn says:

      At last! Somoene who understands! Thanks for posting!

  137. Ken Kirk says:

    The right of protest is fundamental to a democratic society

  138. Katherine Nesbitt says:

    University of Glasgow arts graduate

  139. Diane Levine says:

    I was 6 months pregnant in March, and made the decision that I couldn’t attend the London rally because of the kettling risk. This is not appropriate in a democratic country.

  140. Virginie Guichard says:

    The right to protest is a fundamental human right in any country that wants to call itself a democracy.

  141. In a ‘democratic’ nation, we all have the right to protest against government actions that will only serve to reduce our present and future.

    To violently repress the peoples right to speak out, the UK has become no better than the governments our Foreign Secretary is so quick to condemn.

    There’s a revolution coming against the political class, and they know it.

  142. Peter Pickering says:

    I am against forceful state protests against protests against undemocratic state control and violence

  143. rossetta woolf says:

    i think that the right to peaceful protest, as an individual, or as part of a coalition, is vital to a healthy society.

  144. Vincent Homolka says:

    Peaceful protest is a fundamental right.

  145. Parisa Smith says:

    Students and academics have a long history of rising up against a system in which they do not believe - think 1968. To condemn this generation for doing the same thing not only robs them of a democratic right but also cheapens the actions of the past. This government should be ashamed of itself.

  146. clive pritchard says:

    The contrast between the treatment of demonstrators and the likes of PC Simon Harwood, who killed Ian Tomlinson says it all. Since Smiley Culture died there have bee a further three deaths in custody. Please promote the campaign for justice for smiley culture.

  147. Ian Barber says:

    The brutality of the Tory driven police responses to demonstrators over the last twelve months has left me massively angry, feeling powerless and believing that UK democracy and freedoms have been seriously undermined. There is absolutely no doubt that police tactics of ‘kettling’ and use of riot weaponry, inflamed and angered protestors to the point of violence. The police acted as organised thugs, their response was unprofessional, provocative and out of all proportion. The subsequent arrests, media coverage, media ‘name calling’ (anarchists!!!) and prosecutions have also been completely out of all proportion to the ‘offences’, and the Tory controlled media has been absolutely and completely biased in its reporting (and what it hasn’t reported) against demonstrators. The public are being cynically manipulated and indoctrinated against the freedoms of speech and protest. The overall picture given by these acts is that the police are in the governments ‘pocket’ and are cynically used by Cameron et al to bully and penalise the poor and vulnerable, whilst protecting at all costs the property and persona of the powerful, rich and celebrity within our society.

  148. Louisa Guise says:

    The behaviour is disgusting from a democratic government and police force! This is exactly why I went to Scandinavia to study! For those of you worried about tuition fees - try Scandinavia, Finland or Holland for your degree!

  149. Ruth Fullam says:

    The very fact that there is a desire to suppress protesting suggests that it is a very powerful tool to voice democratic opposition. We can’t let the power of the few smoother the voice of the many.

  150. We already live in an increasingly authoritarian regime. The right to protest is now under extraordinary threat. What is now required is to bring to life the long tradition of dissent and protest in this country, especially on the streets.

  151. I am old enough to remember the anti-Vietnam demo in Grosvener Square 1968 and was terrified by police brutality at that. It seems that we (or rather, the current 18-26 cohort) are required to go through this once more, the only bright spot as with protests in the middle east is that it shows weakness and panic, rather than strength and resolution.

  152. Jenny Booth says:

    Most changes to our society that we would welcome-women’s right to vote, electoral reform, employment rights-were achieved by protest and organising, not spontaneously passed through parliament by MPs at the behest of an obedient public.

  153. Alex Rigg says:

    The governmental rule we have is one of elected dictatorship. without protests it becomes more of a dictatorship and less of an elected anything. If our leaders don’t stand for democracy then they have no place in parliament.

  154. Alethea Farmer says:

    I am a Senior Citizen, and i was at the 26th. March Protest in London, along with my husband and other members of my family. It was a lovely peaceful atmosphere. You have my full support, and i will be at more, everyone has the right to protest peacefully.

  155. Philip Round says:

    As a British citizen I am appalled by the routine use of brutality by Metropolitan Police in suppressing legitimate protest. Police and politicians alike are seeking to criminalize protest and victimize innocent protesters. Peaceful protest is a right! One should be able to look a policeman in the eye (and see his face and number) without being hit on the head by a truncheon!

  156. Thomas Pryle says:

    Any complex system in the world must achieve equilibrium, usually through two forces pushing or pulling in opposite directions, currently the government is pulling in one, and we must pull in the other.

  157. Jim Backhouse says:

    The right to protest is fundamental to civil society and it is shameful that the police are so clearly a partisan political agenda.

  158. John baxendale says:

    Sign me up

  159. Its our right to say no we dont like or want this..

  160. Helen Evans says:

    I see this as a defence of our basic human rights. Free speech should always be protected and upheld.

  161. Sarah McAlpine says:

    UKC Student

  162. alan williamson says:

    To me..the police were just thugs in uniform during the anti-viet-nam protest Its people like me and all the other people who pay there salary.Then they go and swear an allegiance to parasite,s who live in Buckingham palace.good luck from a pensioner.73.

  163. Sue Talbot says:

    It’s in defending our own hard-won rights here that we also show solidarity with our Arab brothers and sisters fighting tyrannies in North Africa and the Middle East.

  164. Jonathan elliott says:

    in the 18th century they pushed us out of the countryside and concentrated us in towns and citys. now their trying to kill us by a thousand slashes

  165. Becky Ford says:

    no comment

  166. John Cassels says:

    I support the right to peaceful protest without kettling, violence or restriction.

  167. Diane Langford says:

    Keep on protesting in every way, on every level!!! We are many, they are few.

  168. Alexandra Holmes says:

    The right to protest is a crucial part of democracy

  169. Kester Richardson-Dawes says:

    queen mary student

  170. raymond buckley says:

    Screw us and we multiply. Tory scum, here we come!
    “No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”
    Aneurin Bevan

  171. Conor Whitworth says:

    Continue to protest until England can once again call itself a democracy. No rich/poor divide. Equality for all.

  172. Kit Withnail says:

    Please add my name.
    Kit Withnail

  173. Andrew Lewis says:

    “When the people fear the government there is Tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.” Thomas Jefferson

  174. Craig McDonald says:

    Well done with the campaign, it is (sadly) something that is desperately needed in Cameron’s Britain.

  175. Karl North says:

    It looks like governments around the world are trying to degrade our basic human rights. Our forefathers have fought hard for the rights we have now, which are being eroded. We have to fight hard to defend them. We need to do everything we can to stop this CON-DEM party destroying evetything we hold dear, like the NHS and our right to protest.

  176. Simon Behrman says:

    Political policing has no place in a democracy.

    Simon Behrman
    Sessional Lecturer and UCU member
    School of Law
    Birkbeck College

  177. John Denby says:

    The sinister and heavy-handed actions of the police are a worrying foretaste of things to come. The right to protest without fear of pre-emptive criminalisation must be fought for.

  178. Daniel Armer says:

    supporting the rights of protesters everywhere and the spread of truth.

  179. john ingamells says:

    The right of protest is fundamental to a democracy.

  180. George Forrester says:

    It is always legitimate to protest about injustice and exploitation, especially when practised by a government. To repress protest is often counter-productive for governments in the long or even short run.

  181. Amazonian Storm says:

    A political prisoner is someone who fights for his people’s rights ‘Winston Churchill’. Time to remind the current oppressors they are breaking the law not the protesters…

  182. Ceri Turner says:


  183. Mary Anne sullivan says:

    Count me in and add my name.

  184. Dear Friends, I think most of us realize that in order to establish a Genuine Democratic society, it is vital to protect the fundamental Right of Peaceful Protest in our nation and around the World.
    It was for Rights such as these, that our forebears fought against fascism in the 1940′s, and, due to the criminal erosion of these Rights by various incarnations of the British Government and police, it is now our moral duty to struggle for basic Justice in our land.
    Please support this new effort for a fair and decent future for our children and try to help others understand what this is all about.
    Please also check out the campaign RESIST CARDIAC ARREST, which seeks to uphold the U.N. Convention Against Torture. The U.N. defined the use of tasers as an act of torture in November 2007 - RESIST CARDIAC ARREST intends to help the governments of Britain and the World uphold this international legislation and cease the barbaric and murderous practice of ‘electro-coercion’. Search for RESIST CARDIAC ARREST - hosted by the Environmental group ‘Save The Holy Headland’.
    With Love and Solidarity.

  185. Claire Johannesen says:

    We will not be silenced! The Human voice is a poweful weapon.

  186. Tariq Ziyad says:

    The right to protest is a fual pillar of justice and civil liberty, it must not be taken away and will not be taken away.

  187. Paolo Fiora says:

    we must defend freedom of speech and the right to protest

  188. State repression of protesters must be totally resisted
    ian grigg-spall
    academic chair

  189. RSJ Briggs says:

    NUT member

  190. Ruth Styles says:

    Unison member and disgusted at the Met police’s behaviour and at the politicians who approved it!

  191. Abdul-Nasser J G Baston says:

    As a socialist and a trades unionist I am very concerned that effective direct action is being criminalised, and only ritual token protest is being allowed. The elite are waging a war against us !

  192. Tim Cooper says:

    UCU member

  193. David Doyle says:

    The governments attempt to use the Metropolitan police to try and intimidate protesters both on the student marches and now the royal wedding merely serve to enforce what we’ve all suspected all along. They know there is going to be social unrest with a summer of industrial action coming up and this is their perfetic attempt to show us that they will not stand for any dissent!

  194. David Walmsley says:

    Being arrested after the occupation of Fortnum and Mason on march 26th made me realise just how serious a problem political policing is!

  195. Adriana Cerne says:

    Protest and freedom of speech are a fundamental right which we must uphold at all and any cost - we begin to see the true nature of our state oppression at moments like this

  196. PCS Member. In support of your campaign against the police clampdown on the right to protest. Kettling, Alfie Meadows’ arrest, The Fortnam & Mason UK Uncut arrests and now the Royal Wedding pre-emptive arrests-shocking!

  197. Brian Goddard says:

    Member of the public

  198. Laura Pearson says:


  199. Michelle-Louise Goodman says:

    We must all stand together and speak out, the Met have behaved badly and they know it, we will not be silenced.

  200. Zoe Blackmore says:

    Defend freedom of speech and the right to protest.

  201. Simon Thorpe says:

    Birkbeck School of Law Masters student

  202. Ruth Saunders says:

    Member and activist, PCS.

  203. Johnathan Crack says:

    This crap is only going to keep happening. The Police are the private army for the elitists, brainwashed and endowed with mystical powers so it seems. We are fortunate enough to have a right to protest, yet by peoples accounts, this is going out the window!!! Its time to change the whole forsaken system. Investigate The Scientific method for social concern. Peace and love xxx

  204. peter morrow says:

    count me in your campaign. The establishment and its cowardly politicians are in crisis and know there days are numbered. So long as we keep chipping away it will eventually fall. Keep pushing.

  205. Odette Gsling says:

    Having attended each and every demonstration since november last year and being arrested at the last (26th March) i fully support this.

  206. Joanne McQuillan says:

    No right to peaceful protest = no democracy.

  207. Cenred Elworthy says:

    I absolutely support all those who act for justice and equity.

  208. - recording the abuses carried out by Atos.

  209. Paul Lewis says:

    Pre-crime arrests this weekend of campaigners intent on a peaceful and distanced protest against the monarchy are exactly the sort actions expected of a totalitarian state and not of a supposed liberal democracy.
    The Police are here to represent all UK citizens and not to take the sort of overtly pro (corrupt) establishment stance set out by Assistant Commissioner Lynne Owens who seems to have forgotten that she is employed by the people, and that the police force has a duty to serve and protect the people. Political impartiality goes out of the window as she gushingly describes the day of the royal wedding as a ‘fantastic day of pageantry and celebration …a joyous event’.

  210. An appalling attack on the liberty of the British people.

  211. Austen Naughten says:

    Don’t be threatened into silence. Keep marching. Keep protesting. Organise. And most importantly - join a Union. Strength in numbers.

  212. Andrew Murray says:

    NASUWT member

  213. Susan Watters says:

    Being silent is not an option.

  214. ooffii hardwick says:

    The actions of the police over the last couple of weeks have left myself and thousands of others disillusioned, angry, and incredibly bitter. Their actions will only further politicise and radicalise those they oppress.

  215. karl brown says:

    Pre-emptive arrests, political policing and the public demonisation of anyone holding oposing views to the powers that (shouldn’t) be. There is no such thing as Thoughtcrime yet, but at this rate it won’t be long.

  216. Mhairi says:

    We have a right to protest it is paramount. I was at a demo in Brighton on Saturday, the police were using kettling tactics and charging on thier horses at the people.

  217. Lizzie Woods says:

    the right to protest is one of the most basic cornerstones of democracy. Hands off our right to protest!

  218. E Predota says:

    There is no democracy without the rights of political freedom and freedom of expression. Laws have been infringing those rights since the first incarnation of the Justice Act and its restriction on rights to assembly back in the very early 1990s. We need to fight for our right to congregate, to express our views - in whatever way we see fit, whether that be an A to B march, picnics, street theatre, parties, or anything else.

  219. viv acious says:

    UCU member

  220. Matthew Reeve says:

    I am horrified at the tactics used by our police now at protests.

    In Sheffield we had a ratio of about 1 police officer to 5 protestors for the recent Rage Against the Lib Dems protest. Officers guarded big business and the banks and intimidated shoppers and protestors. It was totally over the top and a waste of public money.

  221. Disabled people are protesting on the streets like never before. Please ensure that any protest that you’re planning is as accessible as you can make it. Only by protesting together will our voices be heard. Solidarity brothers and sisters.

    1. anna-rose phipps says:

      i’m with you!

  222. Eve Masson says:


  223. Can this be read out as a solidarity message to the Defend the Right to Protest Campaign to hightlight the political policing against anti- cuts activists in Glasgow.

    Good Luck with the Emergency Meeting on 5 May. Solidarity greetings from the Glasgow Defence Campaign. We were pleased to hear Len McCluskey- General Secretary of the Unite union- condemn the political policing by Strathclyde police of anti- cuts protests. He spoke at the Glasgow May Day march and upheld the right to free speech and protest. Supporters of the Glasgow Defence Campaign have been harassed and menaced by Strathclyde police since activists in Govanhill, Glasgow began campaigning there against the cuts a year ago. Since then they have been arrested, charged, framed up, subjected to strip searches, outrageous bail conditions, illegal questioning of minors, illegal detail stops. Last night while supporting other anti -cuts groups such as the Save the Accord Centre Campaign, a GDC activist was again stopped by police who claimed he was in breach of bail conditions that had in fact been lifted. This harassment has been fully videoed and will be available on the GDC blog. Please pass on our regards to Alfie Meadows. Likewise to the members of Ian Tomlinson’s family. Without doubt PC Harwood did kill this innocent man and we all have to unite and build up the campaign against the police who attack citizens and seek to deny rights.

  224. Mark Turley says:

    “those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”

  225. Geoff Sloan says:

    Protest and survive.

  226. SUSAN DUGGAN says:


  227. Sarah Van Horn says:

    NUT member.

  228. I was one of five people arrested on 29/04/2022 for drinking coffee in a Starbucks whilst dressed as a zombie ( We were arrested for ‘suspected breach of the peace’ as we ‘may have gone on to protest elsewhere’.

    Not only is protest being criminalised, but those even perceived to be possible future protestors are being arrested and illegally detained.

    In solidarity with all those expressing their human right to free speech, free movement, free assembly and dissent.

  229. Paul Hughes says:

    The right to protest is not only a basic requirement to any society which claims to be a democracy but also protected by law through the rights to live and that of assembly and free speech. The creeping fascist state which we are witnessing along with all the eroding and suspensions of civil liberties through this insane concept of ‘pre arrests’ has to be fought with any and every means available. Although my best and most active days of protest are probably behind me now, I will lend my active support to this cause and any that defends the rights and freedom of the people until I draw my final breath. What an inspiration to see so any young people at the meeting who are informed enough and prepared to stand their ground and fight for what they know to be right. Total respect to every one of you from all over the country. Love you all.

  230. Anna says:

    If we do not protect our right to protest, and fight against the way the government allows the police to use retarded, barbaric tactics, then we face a very bleak police-controlled state. I.E. we could possibly all end up with curfews. It is probably called something else but you understand what I’m trying to get at.

  231. James Carey says:

    Fear Builds Walls.
    We have the right to protest outside them.

  232. Andrew Parker says:

    This is a fundamental right.

  233. mark says:

    the right to expression is essential
    the powers that be are inconsiquential
    born sovereign and free is not “being mental”

    peace and prosperity for ALL.
    Not 1 human being left out,not 1..can you dig it?
    yes WE can

  234. Dave Gibson says:

    Though I complete disagree with the socialism of this organisation which strongly deters from the real issue and is likely to alienate potential supporters, I completely agree that the assaults on our most fundamental right are extremely reprehensible, both politically and morally illegitimate and dangerously authoritarian.

  235. Edward Evans says:

    The right to protest is just one part of a democracy but is vital.

  236. Ian McFerran says:

    Boycott the TREASONOUS Census, stand up for your rights and sign this petition! We are no longer walking into the nightmare scenario of George Orwell’s 1984, we’re running headlong into it and there is such a short space of time to turn it around. Please act now. Sign this petition, boycott the Census and challenge (so called) authority. Thank you!

  237. Pete says:

    Duly signed, ex ASLEF member.

  238. Patrick says:

    Patrick from Aberdeen posting to say that it is fair for people to protest in order for the public to be able to see what peoples opinions are.

  239. Kim Elkin says:

    The right to protest must be upheld. This is supposed to be a democracy!

  240. J. Bradtmiller says:

    I support this campaign.

  241. beverley houghton says:

    Everybody must defend their right to protest and freedom of speech!

  242. Kay Walters says:

    I am a FREE child of the Universe and as such have every right to express myself and my views each and every time.

  243. kevin dobbs says:

    hope this gets noticed ;-)

  244. mark says:

    I will protest when i want to its not a right of anyone to tell me otherwise.

  245. Simrit says:

    This is the people’s right!!!!!!! Freedom…full-stop!

  246. Gary says:

    Much love to all,we will win.

  247. John A Smith says:

    A society without the right to protest is not a democracy nor does it have justice

  248. Emma Saunders says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with what this petition stands for and will support you 100%

  249. Tyrian Purple says:

    Musician and Student. Free speech must be protected because it defends the unpopular opinion.

  250. Aaron makepeace says:

    police covering their numbers and namebadges is becoming more frequent. protest is a right not a privilege

  251. Andy Halsall says:

    Freedom of expression as well as freedom of association and the ability to communicate dissatisfaction with government are all vital to democracy. Therefore I feel I have no option other than to support this.

  252. free ipad 2 says:

    Nice review! This is exactly the type of post that should be shared around the internet. Shame on the Google for not positioning this post higher!

  253. Charlotte Gyseman says:

    I support the right to free, unrestrained, peaceful protest.

  254. Rob Campbell says:

    Interesting times are what we are now living in. Things will escalate, people are waking up. In the words of a great man known as Ghandi: “Let us all be brave enough to die the death of a martyr, but let no one lust for martyrdom.”

    We will win.

  255. Brian Roberts says:

    The pre-emptive arrests of people considering protesting on the April 29th is yet another example of the state restricting the right to peaceful protest. Other examples are kettling, removing the camping protester from Parliament square etc etc. Regardless of whether we agree with protesters’ views, we must fight for the right to peaceful protest. This right was hard won and we must stop it being whittled away.

  256. Pete Davey says:

    I don’t have strong feelings about fees for education but I am appalled at the state response to the right to protest

  257. Carolyne Kemp says:

    I defend the right to protect peacefully without fear of police reprisals.

  258. Zachary Hoffman says:

    Solidarity from Boston, Massachusetts.

    I hope the sheeple here in the States will start to get on the bandwagon with you guys.

  259. Judith Chisholm Benli says:

    Police are now politicised. It has been happening over a long period. They are not there for us, for our safety and welfare, to catch criminals. They are there (with us paying for them)simply and solely to further repressive government policies aimed at taking away our freedoms. And now another increment, arresting people before they’ve done anything. This is fascism and we are now in a totalitarian state. How can we help your campaign?

  260. Stop the “ELITES and You put a Stop to ALL the rest…They start the problem and
    offer the solution = You lose more Rights…Some Solution ???
    God Bless You and Yours
    Later theolguy

  261. Louise Whittle GMB member.
    The attacks on the right to protest is an attack on democracy.

  262. Sebastian Noel says:

    It’s all got very silly. Let’s put it right.

  263. Lynne Selby says:

    resist the police state that is being forced upon us

  264. Alex Woods says:

    Political policing and violent and oppressive response to peaceful protest must be curbed now before our rights are irreperably destroyed.

  265. Dave Harrison says:

    Victim of local authority cuts that leave vulnerable people high and dry so that multi-millionaires can cram some more public funds into their already-bulging pockets.

    Praying for enlightenment for the police officers who are probably decent people that have yet to wake up to realise that they are being used to commit crimss against the majority.

  266. Paul Russon says:

    A completely free right to protest is the basis of any democracy; However, I do not actually believe that Great Britain is a Democracy in this day and age;
    The Police should also remember that they are here to serve the public, not the Government;
    We must fight for the right to protest and also the right to disagree with the government, if the government had their way they would make any dissent illegal.

  267. Patrick Hayes says:

    I think it’s fundamentally important that we stand up and defend the right to protest.

    However it is important to remember that defending the right to protest means nothing unless everyone has it, regardless of the content of their protests (e.g. the EDL, which has seen its members have ASBOs slapped on them preventing them from protesting for up to a decade). Otherwise what exists is not a freedom to protest as one sees fit; it is a state-sanctioned privilege to protest as the authorities see fit.

    See my article about this here:

  268. Andrew Clegg says:

    Not directly in support of the protests that have happened recently, but the right to peaceful protest is at the core of true democracy, and must be protected at all costs.

  269. John Halton says:

    We must be constantly aware of steps being taken to stifle protest in our country, and the police and politicians must also be aware that they are here to serve, not manipulate and intimidate the public.

    1. Paul Russon says:

      Thats exactly right John.

  270. simon jolly says:

    am i missing something or are the police and politicians supposed to represent and facilitate the masses..feels a bit like bahrain up in here…

  271. Jan Pemberton says:

    We must defend our right to peaceful protest.

  272. justin says:

    Love is the key !

  273. Tariq Emam says:

    What next? Thought crime?

  274. Plymouth Trades Union Council supports the campaign to Defend the Right to protest, in full knowledge that the actions of the Police towards students and UKUncut protesters are just the prelude to all-out attacks on trade unionists on strike. This is a Government that will divide and rule where it can, and smash into us outright where it wishes.

  275. Phil Johns says:


  276. Paul Henry says:

    Photojournalist Student Swansea.

  277. Matthew Vickery says:

    Solidarity to all those unfairly charged. The right to peaceful protest must be protected.

  278. Russell Jackson says:

    We all need to speak out against what is happening, a totalitarian government which supports big business and not the patriots.

  279. Protest is essential for the health of a representative democracy, especially for one as imperfect as ours. Anyone who has ever campaigned on an issue or written to their MP should support the right to freedom of assembly and protest. The invasive, repressive surveillance and pre-emptive arrest of demonstrators by police is particularly galling.

  280. Tim Beecher says:

    Concerned citizen: I certainly don’t want a police state!

  281. Patrick Macrodain - The Guillotine 3 says:

    We are told from time to time that we have the right to protest, march & demonstrate. These rights are quickly being taken away from us. If we demonstrate we are kettled, beaten & unlawfully killed by a psychotic police force, arrested before any event even takes place.

    Not on any demonstration, march or protest in over 20 years have I been arrested or charged with any offence of violence or criminal damage to property of any kind.

    The police seem out of control these days & appear to be getting away with murder, then attempting to cover it up.
    In our own case the police are trying to say that I conspired with Chris & Camilla and have tried to connect us together, however the fact is I’ve only met Chris Knight 5 times in 5 years, so for there to be any conspiracy it would have to have begun 5 years ago.

  282. Suki Gill says:

    Totalitarianism is usually implemented in steps.. such as clamping down on the right to protest!

  283. Lina Appadoo says:

    We must continue to speak out against injustice and be a voice for those who cannot be heard , come together and fight for our freedom and rights which continually is taken away from working class people.

  284. Anna Mason says:

    I was the youngest Fortnum & Mason arrestee and have beenshocked by the violence of the police towards protests and indifference when security staff have shown unnecessary violence towards protesters.

  285. Claire Thomson says:

    The right to protest is one of the most fundamental rights citizens have in a democracy. This government and their increasingly Nazi like police are trying their damn hardest to remove this right from us. Defend your right.

  286. Alfieri Walter says:

    A huge hug and support from Italy to those who fight the same battles we are fighting here! United we’re strong, you’ll never walk alone!

  287. Penny Schenk says:

    We must defend the right to peaceful protest.

  288. Josh Moos says:

    ‘The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles’

  289. Raymond Morell says:

    The labour movement needs to stand by these inspirational young comrades and defend them as we would our own. The response from the state has been disproportional in each case but proportional to the emerging threat they fear. Lets make that fear a reality and build a united movement of students, trade unionists and anti cuts activists.

    In Solidarity,
    Raymond Morell, Chair Unite London and Eastern Aerospace and Shipbuilding Industrial Sector Committee (PC)

  290. We stand with you in solidarity family.

  291. Nicholas Greaves says:

    In solidarity.

  292. Alison Lord says:

    UCU NEC National Women’s Officer - Further Education

  293. Tisha Brown says:

    “The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.” -Charles Eliot Norton

  294. Tomasz Pierscionek says:

    Solidarity. 10 people who shout make more noise than 10,000 who stay silent. The more a government feels pressured into a corner, the more they will respond with violence. let’s take heart from the fact that they are scared of people power, our power, and keep the pressure on.

  295. Ryan Kendall says:

    Student -
    Sheffield Hallam University

  296. Rachel says:

    Everyone needs to defend the right to peaceful protest.

  297. Karen Hirons says:

    with you all the way.

  298. Katherine Baldwin says:

    Standing with you

  299. Sarah Blackley says:

    The government cannot suppress the will of the people! Standing firm with you in the right to protest!

  300. G. Caulfield says:

    The right to protest is vital in any society e=which wants to call itself a democracy. Sharing this.

  301. Therese O'Hanlon says:

    We all have the Right to Make Our Voices Heard, and If the Powers that be do not listen then we have the Right to Protest.

  302. Sian Hemmings says:

    In Solidarity

  303. William McEvoy says:

    Lecturer in the School of English at University of Sussex. Co-founder of campaign group Sussex Uni Defends Higher Education (SUDHE).

  304. Sara Melly says:

    We must prevent this slide into the police becoming a tool of suppression used against anyone who dares to express ‘inconvenient’ views. Don’t make ordinary citizens - especially our young people - into criminals for exercising their right to free speech.

  305. Lucy Michael says:

    Lecturer in Criminology, University of Hull

  306. anna-rose phipps says:

    re: Gilmour, ok he was stoned, but poetry never sounded better.The best poets were angry and protested. Byron, Keats, Shelley especially. Wordsworth chickened out.
    I am horrified at savage comments made about him, 16 months is worse than harsh. Yes, he was causing trouble. Proper protests mean exactly that. The peaceful anti-Iraq protest achieved nothing after all.

    In solidarity.

    And Charlie, if you’re reading this, i’m right behind you.XXXXXXXXXX

  307. We support this campaign for defending right to protest.

    Mazdoor Bigul (Workers’ Newspaper)
    Proclaimer of New Socialist Revolution

  308. paul Lythgoe says:

    At the heart of democracy is the right to protest and have your voice heard without fear of intimidation, injury or incarceration.

  309. Mohammad Razai says:

    We have the right to protest!

    Student at the University of Cambridge.

  310. Peter says:

    We must resist these vicious attacks on the right to protest.

  311. cynthia phillips says:

    Great that you have this site and to see that not everyone is fooled by establishment propaganda - phew, I was beginning to wonder…
    One thing to be aware of, though - it’s not by any means limited to Tories. More’s the pity (at least that would limit the damage as we’d know who was the ‘enemy’!)
    We just need to stand up to anything, anyone, which/who threatens freedom to protest…freedoms in general. Count me in.

  312. Hugh Greenland says:

    We must defend our right to peaceful protest.

  313. Chris Salt says:

    I assert my right to protest.

  314. David Hunter says:

    Best wishes to all supporting a right to protest!

  315. Claire Blencowe says:

    Warwick University

  316. Alex Trott says:

    PhD student, Royal Holloway, University of London

  317. Elena Runceanu says:

    Student -University of Nottingham

  318. Laura Deslandes says:


  319. Louise Phillips says:

    Louise Phillips - Mother of five

  320. David Chowcat says:

    The right to protest is intrinsic to democracy.
    Every attempt to intimidate lawful protesters must be resisted by us all.

  321. Neil Edmundson says:

    If the right to protest is taken away we are a police state living under a dictatorship (were not far off now) NHS employee.

  322. My father, a Major in Montgomery’s 8th army, the infamous desert rats, survived Dunkirk , El Alamein and everything else that the Nazi’s could throw at him during WW2. He and his generation fought so that their children and their children’s children could enjoy the simple pleasures of freedom of speech and freedom of expression in all its forms. Our American cousins went so far as to allow the burning of their flag and as we are supposed to have this “special relationship”, I would think that we should have the right to swing on a flag without having to face the same consequences as a hard core criminal. Dad’s attitude would have been “silly bugger a good slap on the wrist in the form of a large fine or a large amount of help by way of community service to help the wounded” but instead the judge has given him an excessive custodial sentence that will cost the tax payer a small fortune.

    My brother was sent to prison not that long ago for dealing heroin. He held his hand up and accepted the sentence because he knew he was guilty and felt that he could finally get clean AND pay his debt to society at the same time, which is exactly what he did.

    Now, here’s the rub, the sentence he got was almost exactly the same as the sentence Charlie Gilmour got. My brother got 3 years and with perfect behaviour he got out in 16 months. Charlie got 16 months and if he behaves himself will be out in approx half the time of his sentence or less if he is really well behaved.

    BUT, the point is, how we can, as supposedly the epicentre of all things that represent democracy, turn around and give a fool hardy young lad, the same basic prison sentence as a street hardened heroin dealer is beyond me. At the very worst Charlie’s biggest crime is acting like an upper class twit and a complete and total Plonker to boot, that’s a lifestyle choice not a crime.

    Although my brother did not have anybody die as a result of his dealing to them (he only dealt to a small amount of people for a short period to support his own habit, but by his own admission, that is a very dangerous business and you could kill someone really easily without meaning to do so.

    Could Charlie Gilmour kill anybody by swinging on a flag or sitting in the bonnet of a royal security Chelsea Tractor? Plus which, what on earth were they doing sending Charles and his Camilla right into the jaws of the protestors? Couldn’t a more subtle back street route have proven to be more appropriate?

    I can assure you that not only would my father be outraged but so would my brother. Sadly neither one of them are with us anymore to back me up but my brother knew why he was in there and also knew that sending someone like Charlie to Wandsworth is so far away from the punishment fitting the crime that it is not even remotely funny it is so much like the Nazi way if doing things that I can feel my father turning in his grave as we speak.

  323. Allison Louise says:

    Can the old guard of this country please put Charlie’s case into perspective! Isn’t our freedom exactly what generations before us have fought and died for? Charlie, however foolish & disrespectful we may think he has been has a right to voice how he feels. He just went about it the wrong way. Petulant youth, guilty of little more apart from a bit of substance abuse! Give him some community service and let him go home.

  324. IM Chan says:

    I assert my right to protest.

  325. seo software says:

    I read David Cameron is inviting former Los Angeles Police chief William Bratton to function as a special advisor to the UK police, help them formulate a zero tolerance policy towards the rioters. What nonsense. Maybe we should send our guys over to Los Angeles, help them get their murder rate down to something approximating ours - anyone ever think of that?

  326. Marion Bürkle says:

    I support the right to free, unrestrained, peaceful protest. Greetings, Marion Bürkle, Germany

  327. Greg Matthews says:

    Protest is a valid and vital part of a working democracy. Intimidation of and punishment for non-violent protesters is abhorrent. You have my support.

    Please also sign the ePetition to prevent the police from using water cannon and plastic bullets at future protests:

  328. I am a university student and representative for York St Johns Resist the Cuts. Our group fully supports Defend the Right to Protest and hopes that no more like our York colleague Frankie Fernie are so unjustly/ disproportionately punished for their part in protests.

  329. Ned Hercock says:

    DPhil Candidate, Centre for Literature & Philosophy, University of Sussex

  330. Ben Pritchett says:

    PhD Student, Open University

  331. Peter Baker says:

    The police arn’t all to blame, there are policeman who deplore some of the colleagues actions.There just being used by a goverment that does what it wants, and thinks because it’s got a majority it represents the opinions of the country.Lets hope they don’t ruin the country befor the next election.

  332. Paul Rutland says:

    Chair RMT TfL No.1 Branch

  333. Robert Hainault says:

    English Undergraduate, Queen Mary University of London.

  334. Rowan Brown says:

    the government taking away the right to free speech is not a good idea

  335. (mature student)

    I am fully behind this campaign. Outside the question of suffrage, which does not have the power to hold a government to its promises and pledges on a day-to-day basis, and lobbying, which is entirely dominated by powerful commercial and corporate interests and influential private think-tanks, it is through protest that ordinary workers and people have an ethical claim on governments, and governments a duty to attend the people. Seeking to silence or criminalise protest is therefore seeking to locate governmentality beyond moral and human accountability, in a protected domain of force and in a unilateral relation to the people. What legitimisation would such a government ground itself on, what moral right to govern would it possess? None — all it would have is the violence by which it executed its functions upon the polity, and this is a situation we simply cannot accept as a moral solution to the question of a state. We cannot accept this possibility.

    I am fully behind this campaign.

  336. jack says:

    Jack Rundle

  337. catherine osborne says:

    We should all have the right to protest, I totally support this campaign.

  338. Frank Hutton says:

    In order for evil to prosper, it is only necessary for good people to do nothing. So get off your backside and protest, while you can. And to those who are protesting, don’t give up, keep on protesting till we get our way. Let’s have our British Spring Soon

  339. Nicholas Cimini says:

    This campaign has my full support!

  340. Prof Bill Bowring says:

    Great campaign

  341. Tom Hellberg says:

    Having attended three climate camps. I have seen these tactics at first hand. It is an attempt to use fear and it usually fails.

  342. Anna Rajala says:

    I defend the right to protest!

  343. Timo Uotinen says:

    If we cannot protest, we do not have free speech.

  344. Dystin Johnson says:

    Criminals do not protest - thinkers do!

  345. Sharron Lea says:

    I, part of the 99%, assert my right to protest.

  346. Rachael Payne says:

    I support the right to protest.
    Politics Student, Brunel University.

  347. Cait O'Connor says:

    This campaign has my wholehearted support.

  348. Ollie Barron says:

    I support this petition.

  349. sheila burns says:

    I entirely support this petition.Is it possbile to send a donation by post. I do not want to use paypal

  350. Matthew hatton says:

    I fully support this petition and everything it stands for!

  351. Steve Donoghue says:

    Great campaign! Well needed! We shall keep fighting!!! Make them fear!!!

  352. Victoria Blake says:

    No one should fear being kettled, crushed or even violently assaulted by police action when exercising their democratic rights.

  353. Sairah Tariq says:

    Keep fighting back

  354. Patricia Hughes says:

    We have to speak out now otherwise we will lose that right to speak out in the future - so support you 100%

  355. Carolyn Jones says:

    The extraordinary punishment meted out to Owen has succeeded in achieving exactly the opposite of what presumably was intended in that it has whipped up a perfect storm.

  356. Janet Armstrong says:

    Justice and freedom - everybody’s right, we have to stop the insidious rise of fascism before it is too late

  357. Beth Mills says:

    The right to protest and democracy go hand in hand, a right that Britain has been erradicating for decades. Sadly all around the world there is evidence of police forces attacking the populations they are suppossed to protect in the interests of corporations. I salute everyone who stands up for what they believe in, in these frightening times.

  358. milly says:

    there is at least two sides to every story. protest.

  359. Tooting Free Press says:

    Our rights are being eroded before out very eyes. TFP is fully behind this cause.

  360. Andria Efthimiou-Mordaunt says:

    Thanks for ALL our Protests forever; Never forget what MMead said: without a small group of concerned citizens, little ever changes for the better and/or most disenfranchised

  361. David White says:

    Please add me as a supporter. Thank you.


  362. Jack Johnson says:

    Please add my name as a supporter.The brutality of the police and the
    Victorian sentences inflicted on protesters is testament to the corruption in our none democracy. Public schoolboys rule everything
    including the judiciary.
    Best Wishes,Jack

  363. Ray Richardson says:

    London can sleep without fear during the Olympics knowing the baton hasn’t been passed and Mick Johnson is still there and leading the policing of the games.

    I am sorry that less than 400 people have added their names here. Please add yours now.

  364. Vik Chechi says:

    Queen Mary University of London UNISON

  365. Talia Bogaski says:

    Solidarité. This isn’t about tuition fees. It’s about having more equal access to education — university and college shouldn’t be only for the rich “elite”!

  366. Virginia Dawe says:

    defend the right to protest in Canada. In Quebec it is now illegal to have more than 50 people gather without prior approval from Gov’t authorities

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