A statement of protest against police changes to the route for the 3 October anti-cuts demonstration outside the Tory party conference has been launched by Birmingham Right to Work.
Two councillors and a number of leading trade unionists in the city have already signed the statement and are asking activists across the country to do the same.
The route for the national Right to Work protest was agreed at a meeting with the West Midlands police, Birmingham city council and protest organisers on Tuesday 24 August.
But police reneged on the agreement, citing security concerns.
The statement demands the right of protestors to pass by the front of the Tory Party conference. It says:
“We feel that this is a violation of the right to freedom of speech and our rights to protest peacefully against the Government. Peaceful protest is a vital part of a democratic society and people have taken their opposition to Government actions to their conferences for decades. The decision of the West Midlands police takes that right away.
By not allowing the Right to Work campaign to march past the International Convention Centre we are concerned that West Midlands police is attempting to make political decisions about how visible protests against the cuts can be and are denying a basic democratic right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech. We believe that West Midlands Police should permit the demonstrators to march past the Conservative Party conference on Sunday 3rd October.”
The march in Birmingham has been initiated by the Right to Work Campaign and is backed by three national trade unions—the PCS, NUJ and UCU—the Labour Representation Committee and numerous local trade union and campaigning organisations.
Thousands of people will be converging across the country to attend the march and to send a message of opposition to the Tory cuts.
Everyone opposed to the cuts should take the statement and get it signed by as many trade unionists, councillors, community groups and activists as possible—and make sure that they are booked on the transport to attend the protest.
To sign and print off the statement visit www.righttowork.org.uk