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Dec 6th, 2013

Gagging Law: Could Brighton be the first?

By 38 Degrees team

Brighton Town Hall

Brighton Town Hall. (C) Mike Quinn

Next Thursday, Brighton and Hove could become the first city in the country to formally oppose the gagging law.

A motion against the gagging law is being proposed at the next council meeting. That’s a big step forward and a sure fire way to make sure that it’s at the top of the agenda in Brighton and with Brighton MPs.

But, we need to make sure that councillors turn up and vote to support the motion. There are thousands of 38 Degrees members in Brighton. Councillors are our elected representatives, and should stand up for the interests of their communities. So, if enough of us email our councillors today, they’ll be under no doubt what their voters want them to do.

We don’t have long to persuade them to vote the right way. Can you email your councillors now, asking them to vote for the motion in opposition to the gagging law? It’s really easy and will only take a couple of minutes.

If the council declare they’re opposed to the gagging law, Brighton MPs won’t be able to ignore such a huge local issue. Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has already come out against the law. But this council vote would put Simon Kirby, MP for Kemptown, and Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove, under pressure to speak out against it too.

Chris and Ruth, two 38 Degrees members and councillors in Hove, decided to propose the motion against the gagging law after meeting other members a few weeks ago. The motion might spark councils across the country to do the same, and it will send a strong message to the government that ordinary people don’t want community groups and charities silenced.

38 Degrees members in Brighton and Hove have come together to fight the gagging law in all sorts of ways over the past few months. People have signed petitions, sent thousands of emails to MPs, and are organising a huge public meeting to ramp up the pressure even more. Now, let’s make sure Brighton and Hove council stands with us against the gagging law.

Please send an email now.

Will Brighton and Hove council vote to reject the gagging law? Should we all pressure our councils to do the same across the country? What do you think? Post your comments below.

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