Right To Resist is a campaign statement initiated by activists involved in the student movement that began in November 2010. As the police force launches its campaign to be given greater powers, we have launched the statement because we believe the movement needs to campaign against their powers.
Right To Resist
• For the right to organise and protest
• Defend those arrested in the recent student protests
• Stop police brutality and intimidation
• Ban kettling
• Stop the cuts
The vicious police response to the recent student protests is wholly unacceptable and totally uncalled for. The baton charges and use of ‘kettling’ only serve to fuel anger and frustration and in part, at least, are deliberately designed to provoke strong reactions from demonstrators.
Police brutality and intimidation on demonstrations, protests and picket lines are nothing new. As the class struggle grows in the wake of the Tory/Lib-Dem government’s ideology-driven attack on public services and jobs, the role of the police in ‘managing’ protests will continue to grow and harden.
We demand that all the charges are dropped against all students and their supporters arrested in the recent wave of student activity.
We call for a ban on ‘kettling’ as a means of control and intimidation of peaceful protesters. ‘Kettling’ has been added to the armoury of police warfare, alongside baton and horse-mounted police cavalry charges, to intimidate protesters and dissenters.
We believe that the Tory/Lib-Dem government has no majority electoral mandate for the cuts it is pushing through. People voted for the Tory-stooge Lib-Dems on a promise that they would oppose the cuts which they are now helping the Tories railroad through.
We believe ‘kettling’ is arbitrary imprisonment and is a direct attack on our basic human right to protest, contravening Articles 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act. We call on student and labour movement organisations to actively oppose ‘kettling’.
Initial signatories (all in a personal capacity):
Pat Smith, Hull University Students Against Fees, and occupier
John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes & Harlington
Michael Chessum, Education & Campaigns officer, University College London Union, National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts founder
Jade Baker, Vice President Education, Westminster University Student Union
Bob Sutton, Merseyside Network Against Fees & Cuts
Rosie Huzzard, Young Members Officers, PCS DWP Sheffield branch & Young Members Area Convenor, PCS South Yorkshire
Janine Booth, Secretary, RMT London Transport Regional Council
Elaine Jones, Vice Chair, Wirral TUC
Tom Unterrainer, President, Nottingham City NUT
Ed Whitby, shop steward, Newcastle City Unison
Dave Kirk, shop steward, Unite (Energy Sector)
Patrick Murphy, National Union of Teachers Executive
Julia Long, National Officer Unite the Union
Martin Mayer, Unite the Union Executive and Chair, Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance
Sean Rillo Raczka, Chair, Birkbeck Students’ Union
Robyn Minogue, Education Officer, University of the Arts London Students’ Union
Hero Austin, Community and Welfare Officer, LSE Students’ Union
Ged Dempsey, National & Regional Committee, Unite GPM Print Sector
Rachel Maskell, National Officer, Unite the Union
Felicity Dowling, Cheshire West and Chester NUT
Louis Hartnoll, President, University of the Arts London Students’ Union
Alec McFadden, President, Merseyside TUC
Ross Quin, Unite workplace rep and Trade Union Liaison Officer, Wallasey Constituency Labour Party
Maria Pendaraki, Women Against the Cuts and UCU
Cath Turner, Merseyside Womens Movement and Womens Officer, Wirral TUC
Barbara Cookson, Unison Health Liverpool
Mark Hoskisson, Secretary, Liverpool TUC
Val Walsh, poet
To sign up to this statement contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Full list of signatories here.