Today, the Guardian reports that Civicus, a global campaigning NGO, in its recently published monitor has downgraded the UK’s acceptance and tolerance of protest, ‘it is now classified as “obstructed” – putting it alongside countries such as Poland, South Africa and Hungary.’ Civicus classify countries as: open; narrowed; obstructed; repressed; or closed. Civicus say,

A significant deterioration in civic freedoms in the UK, particularly the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, has led to the country being downgraded from narrowed to obstructed.

I recently analysed both the Economist’s democracy index and Transparency International’s annual reviews, the former of which had the UK on a stand still. The Economist’s marking on Civil Liberties remains unchanged since 2017 with a 91% positive marking. As my article makes clear, I find this hard to justify then, and even less today as the Tory Government turns the screws on protest, judicial review and free speech.

A growing authoritarianism
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