Fracking is being imposed on people by a government that doesn’t care about local democracy or climate change. This has led to legal challenges and protests as local people try to resist, with the police giving the impression that they are working on behalf of the fracking companies, without understanding their crucial role in supporting peaceful protest. It also appears that the police are using all the tools of anti-terrorism legislation to monitor and repress these protests. It is the biggest example we have of how the measures supposedly put in place to protect us are being used to protect the profits of the corporations from actions by ‘us’, the people.
Image by Randi Sokoloff
I am putting a series of questions to Ministers in the Lords to highlight the way that the anti-terrorism laws and police resources are being used and misused. After years of police budgets being cut and officers being increasingly over-stretched, I find it ridiculous that so much time and money can be spent snooping on the lives of protestors who have never committed a serious crime. We have found this to be the case with the police use of undercover officers, the running of the domestic extremism database and the use of the Prevent referral process.
The security system works on trust. The professionals within the police are trusted by the government to stick to guidelines, codes of conduct and not to over-step the mark. Given the mounting evidence of recent years, either the police are regularly abusing their powers, or the government has deliberately kept the guidelines loose in order to encourage the police to act against campaigners on particular policies? I hope that by asking the right questions I can get the police focused on the job they are meant to be doing, including their duty to facilitate the right to protest. We are a democracy after all.