The Repression and Criminalisation of Youth-Led Political Dissent in Contemporary Britain

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Sarah PICKARD, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France
Successive governments in Britain have intensified their efforts to repress traditional and new forms of political dissent in the twenty-first century. In particular, these developments have been characterised by more repressive legislation leading to the criminalisation of dissent, as well as a move to greater surveillance and storing of information on searchable databases.

Young people have been the major actors in protests on numerous issues using a variety of methods. Young activists have therefore been particularly affected by governmental changes in the management of political protest.

First, this paper will outline briefly how British governments have made changes to legislation and policing methods regarding protests in recent years.

Then, the paper will examine the impact of legislative and policing changes on Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association and the Right to Protest in relation to youth-led protest and dissent more wildly.

Last, the paper will discuss the legal, political and ethical implications of turning peaceful protests in criminal events and young activists into criminals.