Right to Work march threatened by police

Posted on September 3, 2010

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The following is a statement from the Right to Work Campaign about its proposed march past Tory conference in Birmingham on 3 October:

“We are alarmed to be informed that, despite earlier agreements with the Police and Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police are attempting to stop the trade union demonstration against public service cuts from marching past the Conservative Party conference at the ICC on Sunday 3rd October

The march 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 a number of local trade union and campaigning organisations.

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. We note that Centenary Square will not be a “sterile zone” and that people will be able to access the area freely. 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.”

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