Coaches with anti-war protestors travelling to RAF Fairford were searched and turned back to London in March 2003 Police surveillance Unlifting samba sounds at demo outside RAF Northwood in January 2003

Wherever there is injustice or oppression,
there is protest and resistance

Conference aims and workshops and some ideas to consider for how people can resist repressive laws

The conference aims:
- to share experiences, and promote mutual aid & co-ordination between protestors threatened by repressive laws
- to develop effective strategies for standing up for our freedom to protest against injustice and oppression

see the conference programme and other details

see the workshop briefing papers

read a report of the conference

There are a whole range of repressive and outrageous measures increasingly being used by police and companies to try to intimidate and undermine all manner of protests - including peace and anti-war, anti-capitalist, Palestinian solidarity, environmental, workers, animal rights and other campaigns.

These measures include protests being banned, ASBOs against protestors, injunctions, police encircling and detaining protestors for hours on end, police 'intelligence' teams harassing people, road blocks to stop protests, and new threats from the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act.

Its time to stand up for everyone's freedom to leaflet, picket, assemble and march against injustice and oppression. Such rights and freedoms have not been handed down by the powers-that-be, but won through struggles over the last 100 years or more.

We believe that oppressive laws can be made unworkable by determination and solidarity among those affected, by mass defiance, and by turning the tables on those who would try to silence and suppress dissent. There are many examples of campaigns and movements successfully refusing to be intimidated by legal threats.

We hope that all campaigns and groups affected by the latest wave of repressive laws will support the conference. Please send the organising group a message of support or any thoughts you have, and send a rep to the next planning meeting:

Conference workshop themes will include:

  • Repressive laws;
  • How to continue to protest effectively
  • Defending cases in court
  • Taking cases against Police etc
  • Organising defence/support campaigns.

Some ideas to consider for how people can resist repressive laws:

  • organising active defence campaigns which spread the activity which is being threatened
  • encouraging people to be confident and assertive about protesting, not apologetic
  • holding protests outside firms using repressive tactics
  • handing out Freedom To Protest / Human Rights cards on protests
  • exercising the right to make citizens arrests if protests are being threatened
  • organisers of protest events ensuring there are legal observers present
  • promoting co-ordination and mutual aid between groups threatened by repressive laws
  • sharing experiences on how groups are standing up for their freedom to protest & developing effective strategies
  • adding 'Freedom To Protest' slogan/logo on leaflets etc
  • distributing special leaflets to workers employed by any company targeted, calling on them to support or join in