A few months ago I wrote about why we need to Stop the Gagging Bill. Last week I wrote about how happy I am that my city is officially opposing it. On Thursday I went to a local public meeting about it, where two MPs and two other speakers hashed it out with 300 concerned local people. The meeting was organized by people power group 38 Degrees, and they’ve also got a petition that’s being presented to the House of Lords tomorrow – if you haven’t already, please sign it!
This is our last chance to fix this democracy-squashing legislation. The House of Lords are holding the final vote tomorrow, right after the petition is presented by Lord Harries. Over 150,000 people have signed it so far. Make sure your name’s on the list!
I’m confident that we have a good chance of scrapping this awful law, because the government have already started to budge by watering down key parts of the bill. Originally part 2 of the bill aimed to monitor and restrict NGOs, charities and community groups from campaigning during the year before general elections. A new amendment has shortened that time frame to 7 and a half months. That’s progress, but it’s still not acceptable. Being able to peacefully campaign on the issues we care about is a central part of democracy, and restricting that restricts free speech.
The government is starting to budge because there’s been such a huge opposition to this controversial bill. We need to keep up the pressure and persuade the Lords to scrap it completely.
Please sign the above petition!