DPAC demands the right for disabled people to protest and march with Right to Work as we did last year! Please download, use and return the filled petition
In a deja vu moment the West Midlands police and the home office have again denied people the right to march in Birmingham – this time past the Lib Dem Party conference on Sunday 18th September.
In 2010 the Tories and the West Midlands police prevented Right to Work’s march going past the Tory party conference in the city. Right to Work again initiated this years march but the TUC will act as event organiser and build on the ‘March for the Alternative‘ theme.
Paul Brandon National Secretary of Right to Work said, ” I sat in the meeting with the TUC and was dumbstruck on hearing the news. I can only echo the view in the meeting of the TUC that this represents an outrageous decision. This is a direct attack on the right to protest in a so called free and democratic society. There now needs to be a massive demonstration in Birmingham on the 18th September to reassert working peoples hard won freedoms as we face attacks on pensions, savage cuts to public services and an attack on the NHS to pay for a financial crisis we didn’t create. There is still time for the police and the home office to rethink their decision, and I urge them to do so. ‘
Linda Burnip, of Disabled People Against Cuts, said: “These are our elected politicians and they are accountable to us as voters. It is unacceptable that they can be hidden away from us in this way.”
As in 2010 marchers will be denied access to the part of Broad Street in Birmingham city centre which goes past the conference centre. Police will seal off the area round the conference with fixed barriers
We are asking everybody to sign the following statement:
“For the second year West Midlands Police have confirmed their intention to bar protesters from marching past a major political conference in Birmingham . The police are erecting a “Ring of steel” around the International Convention Centre during the Liberal Democrat Party conference. In 2010 the Con-Dem council and West Midlands police prevented the 7,000 strong Right to Work’s march going past the Tory party conference.
The TUC, which represents millions of trade union members, is now organising the protest, initiated by the Right to Work Campaign, at the Lib-Dem conference on 18 September. On 26th March the TUC organised a peaceful demonstration of over 500,000 through Central London .
West Midlands Police claim restrictions on the right to protest are about the security of conference delegates. Yet no such restrictions are being placed on the similar demonstration Right to Work has initiated and the TUC are now organising at the Tory Party conference in Manchester .
We feel the actions of West Midlands police are a violation of our right to protest peacefully against government policies. Peaceful protest has a central place in any 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.
We are concerned that West Midlands Police is attempting to make political decisions about how visible protests against the cuts can be.
We believe that West Midlands Police should permit the demonstrators to march past the Liberal Democrats conference on Sunday 18th September.”
We will be putting the statement on our website asap so that people can sign up. You can download the attached petition to use in your workplace, college, etc. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org directly to get your name, organisation, etc added.
Please download, use and return the filled petition to:
West Midlands Right To Work, C/O CWU Office, 46-48 Summer Lane, Birmingham, B19 3TH
Thank you for your support.