We will resist

IssueApril - May 2024
Feature by CAGE & others

PN: On 1 March, prime minister Rishi Sunak spoke out on ‘extremism’. He condemned Gaza ceasefire marchers for allowing ‘extremists [to] hijack your marches’ and called for harsher police action against Gaza demonstrations. 

On 14 March, communities secretary Michael Gove launched a new definition of ‘extremism’. 

This now means promoting ideas aiming to end the rights of others or to ‘undermine, overturn or replace’ parliamentary democracy in the UK. 

Gove named three Muslim organisations as possibly being extremist including human rights group CAGE International and the Muslim Association of Britain. 

They may now be banned from receiving public money, and banned from contact with ministers or civil servants.

13 March: Today, Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, announced a new and expanded definition of extremism and named some of our groups. 

“We will continue to engage in political activity, protest, and direct action for the public good”

His announcement is a continuation of the decades-long strategy aimed at inciting and exploiting fears against Muslims to build an authoritarian and repressive infrastructure that suppresses any dissent that is not licensed by Whitehall.

We the undersigned:

  • Reject the rationale of counter-extremism policy in Britain that serves only to strengthen the state’s coercive powers without any pretence of due process or judicial oversight.
  • We will continue to engage in political activity, protest, and direct action for the public good, outside of the narrow constraints of ‘licensed dissenters’ which this new definition will seek to impose.
  • We note that defining extremism has been a failed endeavour, despite multiple prime ministers and seven years of the CCE [the commission for countering extremism] and nearly two decades since PREVENT was brought in. [Under the Prevent ‘duty’, teachers, doctors, social workers and others are forced to monitor and report people (including children) who they think are vulnerable to extremism, ‘embedding discrimination in public services’ as Liberty puts it – ed]

We demand the following:

  • The government be held to account for aiding and abetting the genocide in Gaza and weaponising ‘extremism’ to shield itself.
  • The abolition of the authoritarian and repressive infrastructure of laws built on the back of counter-terror and counter-extremism powers.
  • For civil liberties NGOs and communities to express solidarity with each other in unified rejection of these proposals.

Collectively we will explore all avenues, including legal, to challenge the government’s deep dive into authoritarianism.


CAGE International
Palestine Action
Black Lives Matter UK
Sisters Uncut 
Copwatch Network 
London Student Action for Palestine
Workers for a Free Palestine
No More Exclusions
Palestine Youth Movement

Topics: Repression, Gaza