Human rights campaigner brands Public Order Bill 'Orwellian'

16 January 2023, 20:22 | Updated: 16 January 2023, 21:04

Human rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell brands anti-protest bill 'Orwellian'

By Abbie Reynolds

The Public Order Bill shows a lack of "modern democracy" according to Human Rights campaigner Peter Tatchell who told Tom Swarbrick the amendments look "Orwellian".

The amendment - which is due to take action on Monday - is meant to give the police "greater clarity over when and where they can intervene" during protests.

Disruptive protests demonstrated by eco-protesters such as Just Stop Oil have triggered this change in legislation.

Peter Tatchell told Tom Swarbrick: "The powers exist [to intervene during a protest] they [the police] don't need anymore, and I've got to say that even of the powers that exist some of them have been abused already. We don't need any further restrictions on the right to protest."

READ MORE: 'Arrested for doing my job': LBC's Charlotte Lynch tells of being held in a cell while covering M25 protest

"This legislation is proposing to criminalise people not for protests that they have done but for protests they might do," the campaigner said stressing the word "might".

"Now that is really Orwellian" he declared, going on to say that the Bill does not reflect "modern democracy".

In other commentaries around the Bill, Labour Peer Shami Chakrabarti told Shelagh Fogarty she felt it reflects "anti-terrorist laws".

Mr Tatchell has attended many protests and said he's been arrested under the charge of "behaviour likely to cause the breach of peace" despite never causing the breach of peace himself.

"But the police have said holding a sign supporting LGBT+ rights might cause stress or alarm to members of the public - and therefore I have been arrested," he told Tom in relation to those arrests.

READ MORE: 'Touched up regularly and made to bark like a dog': Ex-Met Constable details abuse from fellow officers

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