Blog: ‘F**k the law!’ Brexit-bashing Westminster activist vows to ignore new protest rules – Express

Steve Bray, an anti-Brexit protester who has been campaigning outside Westminster for several years, released a video of his conversation with a police officer outside the House of Commons alongside the caption “F**k the law”. The officer was issuing a “friendly warning” to the protester that come June 28, his activism may fall under new legislation that could result in action if ignored. Mr Bray responded by holding his hands out and saying if he crosses the line, he will readily accept being arrested. 

The police officer said: “So, there’s some new legislation that comes into force on the 28th of this month, next Tuesday. 

“A lot of it is around the conditions of protest, whether that be assemblies, processions, or single-person stuff. 

“I’m going to be down here next week so if you want to have a chat about it before we start doing anything, come and have a chat and I’m more than happy to explain all of it first so you know yourself what is going on.” 

Mr Bray responded: “I can tell you this much now: I am changing absolutely nothing. Protests will stay the same.” 

The officer said: “I’m not asking you [to change]. Genuinely what it means is I can explain to you first of all what the new legislation is, how we might interpret it and what it could mean for you. 

“The whole purpose of it is still to protect you and your rights to protest until it reaches a certain threshold. 

Mr Bray said: “All we are going to do is carry on the same basically. No chains, no padlock, no superglue. You know us.” 

When warned by the officer that, under the new legislation, parts of Mr Bray’s protest could “tip over” into their jurisdiction, the activist said: “You know if it does, I’m going to hold my hands out to you and say ‘Take me away’.” 

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The new noise-related provisions of the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Act 2022, announced at the end of May, “widens the range of situations in which police officers can place conditions on protests in England and Wales”. 

It is widely believed to be a response to the likes of the Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain, who used disruptive tactics such as glueing themselves to motorways by way of protesting. 

The provisions paper uses the term ‘noise’ to denote not just the act of being loud but more generally being disruptive to the public. 

The paper defines excessive noise as “having a significant impact on people or [causing] serious disruption to the activities of organisations in the vicinity”. 

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The Bill, prior to the additional provisions announced in May, received widespread criticism for “stripping people of the means to challenge or contest their treatment”, according to CEO of Amnesty International UK Sacha Deshmukh. 

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper described the legislation as “rushed” and said it would create “incredibly widely-drawn” powers, which will allow the police to “stop and search anyone in the vicinity of a protest, including passers-by, people on the way to work and peaceful protesters”.

In its reports on the Bill, Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights said the proposals were “oppressive and wrong”. 

It accused the Government of trying to create “new powers in areas where the police already have access to powers and offences which are perfectly adequate”.

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