Katie Simpson, Northampton Socialist Party

New policing powers aimed at criminalising protesters were rushed in by the Tories before Charles’s coronation.

In London, peaceful protesters holding signs saying ‘not my king’ were arrested. Some had their placards confiscated before even unloading them!

The Tories told us that peaceful protest would still be legal. And that only “disruptive” protests would be potentially unlawful.

But what is protest if not disruptive? Demonstrations against the Iraq war in 2003, tuition fees in 2010, and to save the NHS would all be considered ‘noisy’ and ‘disruptive’.

Deliberately vague

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act is deliberately vague so that the definition of what is lawful can be arbitrarily decided. Police can put conditions on any planned protest, such as a start or finish time. There’s a £2,500 fine if conditions are broken.

Police have used this to keep the ‘March of the Mummies’ static. The Tories are terrified of growing opposition to their hated policies.

Despite originally voting against the anti-protest bill, the Labour Party has made no promise to repeal it if it comes to power.

Labour has also failed to promise to repeal all the existing anti-trade union laws, only committing to getting rid of the new Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill. Former Labour prime minister Tony Blair didn’t repeal any Tory laws that limited the right to strike.

The unions must demand a Labour government repeals all anti-union and anti-protest laws.