People put off by heavy handed policing at protests

|PIC1|The poll was conducted by YouGov to coincide with the launch of the charity’s new campaigning action, the Mass Visual Trespass, which is encouraging people to upload a photograph or short video of themselves holding a climate justice message directed at Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Of the more than 2,100 surveyed, ninety-three per cent agreed that everyone in the UK should have the right to peaceful protest while 18 per cent said they would think twice about taking part in a protest in the future as a result of the skirmishes between police and protesters during the recent G20 summit in London.

One third – 33 per cent – of respondents said that the filming of protesters by police made them feel like criminals, that it was an invasion of privacy and another example of a ‘Big Brother’ society.

Images uploaded for the Mass Visual Trespass are to be projected by Christian Aid onto British landmarks in the run up to the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, allowing people to protest virtually from the comfort of their own homes.

Paul Brannen, head of campaigns at Christian Aid said: “Campaigning on issues such as climate change and how it affects the poor is a vital part of Christian Aid’s work.

“It is very important we give people the opportunity to protest peacefully about issues that matter to them and help the public to hold the government to account.

“It’s worrying that recent incidents involving the police at peaceful protests have made members of the public think twice about taking part in future peaceful demonstrations.”

On the web: