STANDING UP FOR OUR RIGHTS TO PROTEST
Newly-published book by environmental campaigner Joseph Boyd shares compelling insights, research and evidence of state agents working through campaign groups to eradicate protest rights in the UK.
With only weeks to go before the House of Commons hears its third reading on the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, the importance and timing of this book couldn’t be more vital.
Through the remarkable true-life story of Joe Boyd, environmental campaigner from Liverpool who joined the anti-fracking frontlines across Northern England from 2013, we gain a fresh perspective and clear, substantial evidence of a war on protest rights.
In David and Goliath style, Joe took this fight to the High Court in 2017 and Court of Appeal, London, in 2019, to defeat the richest man in Britain at the time, Sir Jim Ratcliffe. https://www.leighday.co.uk/latest-updates/news/2019-news/anti-fracking-campaigners-win-appeal-on-the-right-to-protest/
At the same time as studying two university degrees, Joe spent the last eight years uncovering the truth about the erosion of our protest rights by social change agents masquerading as climate change campaigners in groups including Occupy, Reclaim the Power and now Extinction Rebellion (XR).
Following on from the recent Spy Cops investigation, Joe shares his own and many others’ experiences of agents at work within the movement and gaslighting from those positioning themselves as leaders.
In Spring 2019, less than two weeks after his successful Court of Appeal ruling protecting our rights to protest, XR brought the city of London to a standstill. Bizarrely, the Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said it “caught them off-guard.”
However, had Joe not been successful at the Court of Appeal, Cressida Dick or the City of London could/would have obtained a city-wide injunction on unmanaged protests, setting a precedent for every local authority across England and Wales to be able to limit protest. This would have been in line, using the previous INEOS precedent of a ‘real and imminent threat’ after XR publicly announced the blockade of bridges one week before, giving lawyers time to apply for an injunction.
Weeks later, Dick began raising the question of tougher laws to deter similar demonstrations, saying in the Evening Standard, “Although they caused major disruption, the offences committed were not serious and therefore the deterrent is not significant.” Cue XR with an even bigger, ten-day shut-down of London that autumn.
Later that year, the Met Police Chief wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel saying that the XR protests of that year, “provided a much-needed opportunity for powers to curb protest.” On top of that, in a letter released to the organisation Open Democracy, Dick told Patel that “British laws should be changed to make it easier for police to ban” protest.
The Road to Kill the Bill is an essential read at this crucial time when our human rights to protest are hanging in the balance. As the book progresses the evidence is clear and needs to be investigated further. Are you up to the urgent task? -ENDS-
PLEASE SHARE WIDELY. MANY THANKS
Contact the author for further information and a full pdf of the book for extracts:
Please see attached book jacket for more information.
The Road to Kill the Bill is currently available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Kill-Bill-Standing-protest/dp/1914424115/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1
Notes to editors:
- Joe Boyd, 47, lived on protection camps, slow walked and undertook direct action outside oil and gas drilling sites and their suppliers at Barton Moss, Salford, Upton, Chester, Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, Crawberry Hill, East Yorkshire, Marriot Drilling Company, North East Derbyshire and Preston New Road, Lancashire from November 2013 until late 2017 (chapters 2 – chapter 21 ). He was arrested eight times, but only twice convicted, one of aggravated tresspass on a public footpath at Barton Moss and obstruction of the highway in Lancashire, being bailed from four counties in the process
- At the same time as being on the frontline of the anti-fracking protests, he gained a degree in International Studies with the OU, then a Masters in Public Health at John Moore’s University Liverpool. His thesis on pollution levels around schools in Merseryside won him and other environmental professionals the Healthy Living Award at the Echo Environment Awards in 2019.
- Chapter 08 – chapter 23 goes into more detail of the state involvement and manipulation of key people in the Preson New Road, Lancashire campaign. Chapter 25 and 27 highlights Extinction Rebellion.