Music world speaks out on impending policing bill vote and right to protest

The bill, set to be voted on tonight, has been widely criticised for its plans to allow tougher crackdowns on peaceful protests

The music world has been reacting to the imminent new policing bill which is set to be voted on in Parliament tonight (March 16).

After being debated in the House of Commons for a second time this afternoon, the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will then be voted upon at 7pm GMT.

The new bill proposes tough crackdowns on public protests, including a 10-year jail sentence for defacing public statues and more powers for police to shut down peaceful protests.

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The bill has been followed closely since a peaceful vigil in Clapham Common for Sarah Everard, the woman murdered while walking home earlier this month, turned violent with clashes between peaceful protestors and police. Ahead of tonight’s vote, the music world have been reacting on the proposed bill.

“The protest won’t go away though will it,” Sleaford Mods tweeted. “This bill will encourage a more violent reaction from what is largely a peaceful approach to protests and vigils. Perhaps violence is the only counter action against this government.”

Mogwai‘s Stuart Braithwaite added: “The split screen of the UK increasing the amount of nukes and banning protests whilst the Scottish independence movement bickers over crap no one will remember in 5 years is incredibly frustrating. Eyes on the prize people. Don’t screw this up.”

Discussing the role of the police following the vigil for Everard at the weekend, Lily Allen tweeted: “[The Met Police] handled my stalking case abysmally. I couldn’t have felt less protected by either at the time and I couldn’t be less surprised at what we’re seeing in Clapham this evening.”

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The Labour Party also say they won’t support the bill, with leader Sir Keir Starmer writing on Twitter: “Over 50% of victims of violent crime in the last 3 years are women. Don’t let anyone say it is a rare occurrence. It’s a devastating reality for women and girls across the country.

“Labour won’t support a Conservative Bill that doesn’t tackle violence against women and girls.”

Last June, a number of music stars including RihannaBillie EilishLizzo and Justin Bieber all backed a major open letter calling for police reform in the United States.

The US stars joined forces with record labels such as Sony Music Group, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group to support Congress’ Justice in Policing Act of 2020.

The support, which was also backed by the likes of Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande and Post Malone, followed the death of George Floyd in May 2020, who was killed after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes during an arrest.

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