Act now! Government consultation on strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments

Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire – Anti fracking camp 2017 (photo: Gary Calton)

This consultation needs to be addressed by everyone who enjoys the countryside and the right to roam. The deadline is 11:59pm March 4th 2020. In the Guardian today, George Monbiot wrote that the proposed new law could make us strangers in our own land. He is quite right! You can read his article here.

The point is that, whilst this is positioned to target travellers, the “illegal encampment” consultation outcome will impact protest camps and even anyone who wishes to enjoy the countryside and “wild camp” for a period of time. What about homeless people? Yes, they will be impacted too. For me trespass must remain a civil matter, not one that criminalises individuals readily.

Currently five vehicles are classified as an encampment – this proposed legislation reduces it to just two – that constitutes a vehicle and a caravan or trailer, for example. Not only is such a small number restrictive but it endangers individuals, leaving them isolated and vulnerable to prejudiced hate attacks. Such restrictions will directly impact gathering/camps swhich have been associated with protests – Greenham Common, anti-fracking and HS2 to name but a few. To set up such a camp will criminalise the occupants from the staart and is nothing short of being a punative attack of our right to assemble.

BEFORE YOU RESPOND – read this great article which puts the consultation in context from Freedom Press.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR ANSWERS – The questions in the consultation are worded in such a way that it implies you are answering from a point of agreement! You may wish to consider stating you neither agree or disagree and then write your objection. Recently I had the pleasure of spending time with Karen from Kushti Bok (Dorset) who was representing the Roma community. She sent me this link which may help you respond – click here

COMPLETE THE CONSULTATION NOW – this is truly an assault on our freedoms, make your voice heard.

#demandprotestjustice #freedomtoroam #trespassisacivilmatter