Recent articles

More Conservative attacks on the right to protest

01 Aug 2023

News by PN

Tories making 'law by the back door’

Damaging public order measures, which had earlier been rejected by the House of Lords, have been turned into law anyway (in England and Wales), using ‘statutory instruments’ which get less parliamentary time and which cannot be amended by the lords.

The human rights group Liberty is raising funds to mount a legal challenge against home secretary Suella Braverman’s ‘undemocratic decision to ignore Parliament and make law by the back door’.

Anti-BDS law

01 Aug 2023

News by David Polden

Labour abstains on bill targeting campaign against Israeli apartheid

On 3 July, the government’s anti-boycott bill began its journey through parliament with a vote (286 to 70). The Labour party abstained, despite damning legal advice it had commissioned from barrister Richard Hermer KC.

Promised in the 2019 Tory manifesto, the bill says that public authorities, including local councils, universities and cultural institutions, cannot allow their financial or purchasing decisions to be influenced by their disapproval of the actions of a foreign state – unless the UK government has granted permission to do so.

Spycops ops shopped

01 Aug 2023

News by David Polden

Spying on campaigners 'unjustified' says official inquiry

Undercover police operations to infiltrate British protest groups in the ’70s and ’80s were ‘unjustified’ and the operations should have been rapidly closed down. That was one conclusion of the first report of the Undercover Policing inquiry, covering the years 1968 – 1982, published on 29 June.

The inquiry also found that, between 1968 – 1982, six undercover officers had sexual relationships with at least 14 women.

Yemen: mixed news

01 Aug 2023

News by PN

British-backed war continues as aid programmes forced to close for lack of funding

The British-backed Saudi war in Yemen continues, with a humanitarian crisis threatening tens of millions of people with hunger and disease, and aid programmes being shut down due to underfunding by international donors. Backroom negotiations on ending the war are reported to be taking place between Saudi Arabia and Houthi rebels, with Iraq now offering to be a mediator, while the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen faces internal tensions and protests against poor living conditions. At least the FSO Safer oil tanker is being unloaded of its 1.1mn barrels of oil.

Anti-asylum moves

01 Aug 2023

News by David Polden

Activists aquitted as "illegal migration" bill becomes law

Three activists who lay on the road outside Brook House immigration centre in November 2021, preventing people being put on a deportation flight, were found not guilty of causing a public nuisance by a jury at Lewes crown court on 13 June.

Griff Ferris, Callum Lynch and Rivka Micklethwaite had argued that they were concerned about the possible fates of the detainees if forced to fly back to Jamaica.

On 18 July, both anti-racist and anti-migrant protests met the Bibby Stockholm, a cargo ship intended to hold 500 asylum-seekers, when it arrived in Portland.

Editorial: How to blow up a movement

01 Aug 2023

Comment by Milan Rai

Andreas Malm's book 'How to blow up a pipeline' - and the film it inspired - are both asking the wrong question, argues Milan Rai

Reluctantly, I finally read How to Blow Up a Pipeline (author: Andreas Malm, Verso, 2020) and went to see the feature film of the same name (director: Daniel Goldhaber, 2022).

When I finished the book, and when I walked out of the cinema, I had the same feeling. I was sad.

‘Swap Ukrainian land for peace’?

01 Aug 2023

News by Milan Rai

Ex-Zelenskyy advisor suggests trading 20 percent of land for peace

Unlikely as it seems as the war rages on, some attention has been shone recently on negotiated solutions to the Ukraine War, including trading land for peace.

That suggestion was made in mid-July by Oleksiy Arestovych, who was until January an advisor to the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak.

On YouTube, Arestovych set out four ways the war could end (Daily Telegraph, 17 July).