Opinion Former Article

Unlock Democracy: Modern Liberty - what's next?

The Convention on Modern Liberty took place this weekend across the UK. Thousands of people participated in person and online. The media have hailed it as a tremendous success.

The big question is "what's next?" We'd like to suggest three things: something you need to do today, something to do this month and something to work on over the next year:

URGENT - DO THIS TODAY: STOP CLAUSE 152!

The Coroners and Justice Bill is currently going through Parliament. The most outrageous part in this Bill is Clause 152, which would allow any Minister by order to take any information gathered for one purpose from anywhere, and use it for any other purpose.

Your information, your family's information, arbitrarily used without your consent or even knowledge. This is the very reverse of 'Data Protection'.

An 'Information Sharing Order', as defined in Clause 152, would permit your information to be trafficked and abused, not only all across government and the public sector - it would also reach into the private sector. And it would even allow transfer of information across international borders.

Write to your MP - www.WriteToThem.com makes it very easy - and tell him or her that you 'refuse consent to having your information shared under any information sharing order', and ask him or her to vote to have Clause 152 removed entirely from the Coroners and Justice Bill.

For more information see the Stop 152 page on our website.

THIS MONTH - HOLD A DEMOCRACY DRINKS IN YOUR AREA

The most important lesson to learn from the Convention is that together we are stronger. Unlock Democracy is keen to encourage as many people as possible to get together with other people and have an informal evening discussing how they might work together to campaign on democracy, rights and freedoms in their area.

Holding a Democracy Drinks in a local pub or coffee house will cost you nothing (aside from a few drinks), and should be a fun and sociable way of discussing with like-minded people what to do next, and we will help you to promote he event.

For more information, see our new Democracy Drinks page. And join the Modern Liberty Social Network which will help you to find other people in your area.

WITHIN THE NEXT YEAR - HOLD A PUBLIC MEETING WITH YOUR MP AND CANDIDATES

Even if you live in a constituency with a large majority, a well attended public meeting will send a clear message to your MP and parliamentary candidates that democracy and civil liberties matter to local people.

Organising a well attended meeting will take a bit of organising, but you have over a year before the most likely date of the next general election. We are developing an action pack to help you do this. If you would like a copy, please email james.graham@unlockdemocracy.org.uk.

As we near the next general election, we have a challenging year ahead of us. We want to help you make it a success in your area. To do that, we need to raise funds.

For this reason we are asking you to make a contribution of £20 today. Of course, if you can afford £100 or £1,000, we aren't going to stop you! If you value your rights and freedoms and want to take a stand, please do make a donation:

Your donations help us to keep campaigning and are much appreciated. Thank you.

The Convention on Modern Liberty was just the start. Over the next twelve months we need to drive this issue up the political agenda. With your help, we will.

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