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Tories hand more powers to cops

The Tories have introduced a host of measures to give more powers to the police and smash resistance
Issue 2084
Police bill

On the streets against the Tories’ police bill (pic: Guy Smallman)

The Tories unveiled yet more repressive measures in the queen’s speech on Tuesday. It’s an attempt to resurrect a set of crackdown powers that didn’t make it into the police bill that was passed recently.

They include new offences to stop protesters “locking on” to infrastructure and an extension of stop and search powers. It will also become illegal to obstruct transport projects. It’s a direct threat to groups such as Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain and Just Stop Oil. But the cops and the state will use them far more widely.

It’s time to revive the protests against more powers and make them much bigger than last time. We know how the police act whether they have formal powers or not. Documents from the Spy Cops inquiry released this week showed MI5 told top cops to spy on school students to monitor their political activities. 

These included anti-fascists organising as part of School Kids Against the Nazis (Skan), part of the Anti Nazi League (ANL). MI5 said it wanted information about “pupils (14 or over) who are active in subversive organisations which are exploited for subversive purposes”.

It also sought to spy on teachers who, “are using their position for subversive purposes”. That didn’t stop the growth and successes of Skan and the ANL. Those in power hate militant protests and campaigns that challenge their rotten rule. The best response is more protests, more campaigning and more resistance.

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