Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brighton-an open city to demonstrate

Congratulations must go to The Brighton Greens and Cllr Ben Duncan, cabinet member for communities, equality and public protection, ( what a title!) for upholding the right to protest. They state it is  a "duty" to protest against cuts to public services and we totally agree with them.

With effective demonstrations in Brighton by UK Uncut against the banks, occupying 5 of them, along with the Spanish protest camp , activists campaign effectively to oppose the international austerity measures being imposed on all of us.

This decision acknowledges and upholds our democratic rights, which working people have struggled for from the days of the Tolpuddle martyrs and the Chartist movement. They are not rights which were given down to us from on high but rights which were hard won through struggles against the State.

 2 months ago,  the local police did everything possible to allow the racist EDL and their friends to spread their hate message through Brighton, arresting innocent people for chanting anti-fascist slogans. Sections of the Public Order Act were used to kettle and restrict the rights of anti-fascists. Hopefully this will not happen again.

However, we all know, as in Egypt and elsewhere, what the state giveth so the state also taketh away. Our rights can only be assured if we all organise to defend them. That has been the history of the fight for democratic rights over centuries. It does help though that the Green Party has taken this progressive stand and we very much welcome it.

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