Support Kill the Bill legal observers taking action against the police

by Black Protest Legal Support

Support Kill the Bill legal observers taking action against the police

by Black Protest Legal Support
Black Protest Legal Support
Case Owner
We're a group of lawyers and legal observers who challenge state racism and violence against protesters in the UK, by monitoring the police at protests and supporting racialised protesters/communities
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£10,418
pledged of £12,000 stretch target from 144 pledges
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Black Protest Legal Support
Case Owner
We're a group of lawyers and legal observers who challenge state racism and violence against protesters in the UK, by monitoring the police at protests and supporting racialised protesters/communities
Pledge now

This case is raising funds for its stretch target. Your pledge will be collected within the next 24-48 hours (and it only takes two minutes to pledge!)

Latest: Aug. 15, 2023

WE DID IT!!!

Thank you!

Thank you so much to every single person who generously donated and extended their solidarity by sharing our crowdfunder far and wide.

Without every pound pledged, share on social media and …

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Support arrested Kill the Bill legal observers to take action against the Met police

Five legal observers who were arrested, detained, assaulted and subjected to racism by police during Kill the Bill protests in March and April 2021 are taking legal action against the Met police.

Please support them with their court and legal fees.

What happened?

In 2021, people took to the streets to protest against the authoritarian Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which sought to hand the police even more powers to suppress protests, target Black, brown, racialised and working class communities, and criminalise Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities' way of life.

In March and April 2021, at two separate Kill the Bill protests, 5 legal observers from Black Protest Legal Support (BPLS) were among many people subjected to violence and arrests by the Metropolitan Police, the majority of them from racialised backgrounds.

BPLS legal observers were monitoring and recording police violence at the protests, as legal observers have done for decades. However, the police reacted with aggression and violence, the same violence meted out towards protesters on the ground and that racialised and marginalised communities have experienced at the hands of the police for decades. 

Several of the legal observers were assaulted during arrest, and others were detained overnight, strip-searched, and subjected to racism and further attempts at intimidation and humiliation. 

They were also spuriously charged with offences under the coronavirus regulations and given fines. After a legal challenge, supported by the civil liberties group Liberty, these fines were eventually dropped - with the Met police acknowledging the vital role of legal observers for the first time. 

Why are they taking action?

The legal observers are now suing the Met police for assault, false imprisonment, and discrimination as well as infringement of their rights to freedom of expression and association under the Human Rights Act. 

They have been delayed bringing this case, first because they had to deal with the malicious, false charges and fines for alleged breaches of the coronavirus regulations, then because of obstruction from the Met who have delayed key elements of the case for almost a year. 

Also despite already dropping all charges against the legal observers, and noting the role of legal observers at protests, the Met have refused to accept liability for any unlawful actions or mistreatment. 

Why is this case important?

An attack on legal observers is an intimidatory tactic and an attack on vital community movements that seek to support protesters and uphold the right to protest. 

Legal Observers are independent volunteers who monitor police conduct and provide legal support to those attending or arrested at protests. This follows in an important tradition of police monitoring and scrutiny, not only by legal observers but by local communities and active bystanders to police brutality and violence. 

Bringing this case is important to show the police that they will face consequences for violence, intimidation, racism and discrimination at protests and in our communities, and particularly in light of the wave of oppressive anti-protest measures that this government has recently brought in, from the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 to the Public Order Act 2023.

Why do they need your help?

Please support the legal observers to raise money for their court and legal fees for this challenge if you are able to! Their initial target is £10,000 to be able to get this action off the ground.

Update 1

Black Protest Legal Support

Aug. 15, 2023

WE DID IT!!!

Thank you!

Thank you so much to every single person who generously donated and extended their solidarity by sharing our crowdfunder far and wide.

Without every pound pledged, share on social media and act of support, this legal action would not be possible!

We have now reached our initial £10k goal!

This means the Legal Observers' lawyers will be able to issue their claim against the Met police as soon as possible, as your donations will cover their court fees and expert reports.

Your donations

Please note that the campaign will be live until 31st August 2023, with a stretch goal of £12,000. This means any further funds we raise over the next 2 weeks can help to cover any additional costs in issuing the Legal Observers' claim.

If there are any excess funds - namely if the Legal Observers have more donations than they need to cover the costs of issuing their claim - this will be redistributed in line with CrowdJustice's Unused Funds policy.

Updates coming soon!

As soon as there are any further updates on this case we will let you know! Follow Black Protest Legal Support on Twitter and Instagram to find out more.

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