Oct 22nd, 2013
Gagging law: public meeting in Bristol
It was great to see so many people come to the public meeting in Bristol last Thursday. With scores of people turning up, it was a great chance to meet and chat to other 38 Degrees members about the threat posed by the gagging law.
All sorts of people from Bristol came along to make sure they were heard, including reps from other local groups such as Oxfam, Stop the War and Save our NHS. The Reverend Tim Higgins kindly chaired a heated debated between Alex from Stephen Williams’ office, Belinda and I, and a great bunch of Bristol residents. What a brilliant example of the kind of people-powered, community event that the gagging law endangers!
Unfortunately, due to his new government job, Stephen Williams MP was unable to attend. But someone from his office, Alex, kindly came down to answer people’s questions. There sure were a lot of them, and it’s fair to say he got a good grilling! There was a huge buzz in the room, as everyone made good use of their right to have their say.
The next step is to get a date in the diary for Stephen Williams to hear his voters concerns about the gagging law first hand. That’d put the pressure on for him to go back to his new government colleagues and get them to scrap the worst parts of this bill.
Thank you to everyone who came along and made the meeting in Bristol such a success! All around the country, 38 Degrees members and ordinary voters are going along to public meetings to hold their MPs to account. Such great expressions of freedom of speech were bound to make headlines.
What do you think? How can 38 Degrees members together get our MPs to do the right thing? Do you think we should arrange more public meetings in the future? Post your thoughts below.