Huppert acts to protect civil liberties
March 7, 2012
Cambridge MP Julian Huppert will call for an end to heavy handed police tactics and stronger controls on tasers and stop and search powers in a powerful motion to the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference on Sunday (March 11).
He will tell party members and supporters that kettling – the containment of protesters during demonstrations – must stop and there should be a review of civil penalties such as anti social behaviour orders.
And he will add that the threat to our basic freedom has gone too far when a 15-year-old can be silenced for describing Scientology as a ‘cult’ and a man can be convicted for joking on Twitter that he would blow up his local airport if his plane were delayed.
“For years successive governments have enacted illiberal legislation, which has gradually eroded some of our most basic freedoms,” says Julian.
“At best, governments have sought to control our rights in the interest of security, or even to prevent discrimination by balancing our different human rights. At worst, they have introduced illiberal laws either by accident, or because of a desire to control minority viewpoints at the cost of universal freedoms.”
Julian will tell the Newcastle conference that stop and search powers, introduced to prevent crime became “a leading cause of the summer riots, the most widespread violence our country has seen in decades”.
“Liberal Democrats opposed stop and search because we knew that in giving the police arbitrary powers, you risk undermining the very fabric of our society,” he says.
And he will warn that the right to peaceful protest is constantly under threat giving as an example the international attempts to control groups such as the Occupy movement which held its first demonstration in New York’s Wall Street and now has a presence in more than 80 countries.
“This had led to disproportionate policing and an undermining of the right to peaceful protest,” says Julian.
“Our government has taken steps to undo the damage done to our civil liberties, including Labour’s sustained assault on basic freedoms.We have scrapped ID cards, removed innocent people from the national DNA database, ended 28 day detention without charge and abolished Control Orders among other things.
“But there is still much more that we can do to protect freedom of speech, uphold our individual freedom and protect our individual data and right to freedom of information.”