Sign our open letter

Our open letter

To whom it may concern,

We, the undersigned, are a new Sheffield-based coalition group gathering power locally in opposition to the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (or Policing Bill) which was voted through its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday 16th March. We are a coalition of local organisations, businesses, groups and individuals across the city declaring our opposition this draconian bill.

The Policing Bill grants the police enhanced powers which will, among other things, limit the right to peaceful protest, grant the police further stop and search powers, criminalise trespass, target the way of life of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, and result in a longer prison sentence for defacing a statue than r*pe. We reject this bill as we reject the idea that further criminalisation across communities and increased power in the hands of the police and the Home Office will succeed in building a more equitable, just society.

The rushing of this bill through the Commons is a sign that the Tories want to silence the public, and is a vindictive response to the Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests of recent years. The government are now scrambling to look like they have answers to misogynist and gendered violence, but they do not. 

This bill is being rushed through parliament, but we have an opportunity to stop it becoming law. The bill will be revised in committee before going back to Parliament for a final vote; giving us a window in which to make the public and lawmakers aware of the threat that it presents to our society. Sisters Uncut and Netpol have been leading the way on this, and demonstrating the vital role that protest plays in the democratic process. Our coalition in Sheffield aims to contribute to this opposition movement.

The rights and freedoms we enjoy today are the product of struggle and protest. Sheffield has played its own part in this, from the mass trespass of Kinder Scout in support of the right to roam, to the miners’ strikes, and the recent Black Lives Matter protests. We’re reaching out to you right now to uphold this proud tradition and lend your power to our movement. Will you publicly oppose this bill as one of many organisations and individuals in Sheffield?

If you’re on board, please add your support via the contact form on this website, follow us and keep up to date with our campaign on twitter.com/shefagainstpb, facebook.com/sheffagainstpolicebill and instagram.com/sheffagainstpolicebill, and consider sharing our posts.

Signatories

Sheffield Anti Raids

Extinction Rebellion Sheffield

STAR (Student Action for Refugees) Sheffield

Sheffield Against Asylum Evictions

Sheffield UCU (University and College Union)

Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign

Sheffield Transformed

University of Sheffield Student Rent Strike

ACORN Sheffield

Sheffield Trans Solidarity Network

Socialist Party – Sheffield Branch

Sheffield Labour for a Green New Deal

South Yorkshire Socialist Alternative

Our Bodies Our Streets

Sheffield Labour Students

Take the Knee Sheffield

South Yorkshire People Before Profit

Sheffield Counterfire

Sheffield NEU (National Education Union)

People and Planet Sheffield

HOPE Not Hate Sheffield

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) Sheffield

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group

Green New Deal UK – South Yorkshire

Sheffield Marxist Society

Sheffield People’s Assembly

Red Fightback – Sheffield Sub-Branch

Socialist Appeal Sheffield

Youth Strike 4 Climate Sheffield

Sheffield Green Party

Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Sheffield Halam Rent Strike

Rotherham TUC (Trade Union Council)

University of Sheffield Palestine Society

Sheffield Labour Left

Young Communist league – South Yorkshire Branch

South Yorkshire Communist Party

Sheffield Socialist Choir

Mount Pleasant Park FC

Sheffield TUC (Trade Union Council)

Sheffield Creative Action for Peace

Yorkshire Campaign Against Prisons

Mosborough Against Fracking

Sheffield Black Lives Matter

University of Sheffield Sustainability Committee

Sheffield Arts Lab

Sheffield Alliance for Workers’ Liberty

Educate your Sons UK

Olivia Blake – MP for Sheffield Hallam

Jarred Up Arts Lab

Sheffield University Feminist Society

South Yorkshire Better Buses

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