G8 summit: Sheffield people denounce suppression of the right to protest.

On June 15-17 the ?Justice and Home affairs? ministers of the G8, the world?s seven richest nations and Russia, will gather in Sheffield to discuss the home front of the ?war against terrorism?.

The police have invoked special measures to prevent protests, informing organisers that no marches of any size will be allowed in the city centre during the summit. Any such protests will be met with force and arrests. Under the pretext of ?security? the police are attempting to marginalize protests by confining protestors to a pen on Devonshire Green. Sheffield Against G8 proposed a march on the afternoon of 15th June. Sheffield Stop the War Coalition proposed static pickets on the evenings of 15th and 16th June. Both these protests have been flatly prohibited.

Whatever one?s view of the G8, we urge Sheffield people to oppose restrictions on the right to protest and to the imposition of what amounts to martial law over the centre of our city.

We, the undersigned, believe that the blanket ban on peaceful protests in our city centre is an outrageous and unacceptable infringement of our democratic right to protest. We call on all citizens, organisations and elected representatives in Sheffield to press for these repressive decisions to be reversed.

SIGNED [your name here?!]

What you can do:

  • 1. Send a message by email to Jillian.Creasy@Sheffield.gov.uk confirming that you support the statement (or print off and send a hard copy to Cllr Jillian Creasy, Town Hall, Pinstone St, Sheffield, S1 2HH). I will send the statement as a letter and press release to The Star and the Sheffield Telegraph on the evening of Tuesday 31st May.
  • 2. Forward/print and pass on this message to friends and colleagues ? we need to collect as many signatures as possible within a few days.
  • 3. Join the march for Peace and Justice organised by Sheffield Stop the War Coalition on Saturday 11th June ? assemble 10.30am, Devonshire Green, march to Peace in the Park Festival, Cemetery Road.