The crunch being the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that has had a load of last minute additions made to it, soon due to be read in the House of Lords. If the last minute additions get passed, it will criminalise aspects of protest that in the past, we assumed we could get away with. It will effectively end any meaningful acts of protest. To undertake a lot of the acts of protest that we used to do will run a considerably higher risk of arrest and imprisonment.
This is most likely where we’ll be within a month or so. How people protest from that point onwards is not for us to say. Obviously, the risks will be greater but we recognise that a fair few people will be willing to take those risks. Providing the support structures are in place for those who are arrested and criminalised, it’s their choice to take that risk.
However, for a range of reasons, not everyone is in a position to take the risk involved in street protest or other forms of direct action. They are as passionate about radical change as those putting their bodies on the line but feel they would have too much to lose by getting arrested and imprisoned. Also, there’s always the chance of the cops using force to break up an action or protest and understandably, not everyone is comfortable facing that.
As we’ve mentioned in a fair few posts on this blog, there are many ways of subverting the system and bringing about radical change that do not involve getting out on the streets or direct action. We’re talking about forms of prefigurative activism which is essentially about building the new world we want in the decaying shell of the increasingly dystopian one we have to endure.
Rather than re-hash what we’ve already written, we’ll list the key posts we’ve put up about this over the course of this year:
Whoever controls the food supply controls the population – November 2, 2021
Don’t buy it, grow it! – October 9, 2021
Prefigurative action – September 1, 2021
Building community resilience – securing the food supply – July 21, 2021
Alternative ways of subverting the system – March 16, 2021
Also, here are a couple of contributions from other writers which you’ll hopefully find useful:
The multiple and overlapping crises in the UK point to a sustained need for mutual aid – Jon Bigger | Freedom | October 1, 2021
How a Luton Council Estate Is Taking Control of Its Future – Taj Ali | Tribune | July 7, 2021
The above is far from a comprehensive list. If anyone wants to suggest further readings relating to various forms of prefigurative action, send us the details and we’ll add them to our Readings section.