- JENGbA and Liberty success against UK government on cruel ‘joint enterprise’ laws
- Survival International asking for emails to stop Peru’s “Genocidal Bill”
- Thousands hold vigils across the UK for murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey
- Security disallows food deliveries to occupiers in the University of Manchester
JENGbA and Liberty success against UK government on cruel ‘joint enterprise’ laws
A campaign group successfully challenged the UK government on 15 February on its application of “racist” joint enterprise laws. Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA) and human rights advocacy group Liberty claimed that such laws disproportionately target people of colour. In particular, Black boys and young men.
Liberty described joint enterprise as:
if one or more people commit an offence (the main offenders) and another / others (secondary offenders) intended to encourage or assist them to commit the offence, the secondary offender(s) can be prosecuted as if they were a main offender.
As a result, personal and social biases can play a significant role in convictions for joint enterprise. However, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) doesn’t record data such as ethnicity for those prosecuted under the law. As a result, these biases are ‘masked’ by the CPS’ idiosyncratic bureaucracy.
JENGbA and Liberty’s successful campaign means the CPS will now pilot a trial monitoring such data.
Joint enterprise laws are inherently cruel and must be done away with altogether. Nonetheless, director of JENGbA Jan Cunliffe described the victory as an “immense breakthrough” towards the group’s ultimate aim of abolishing joint enterprise altogether.
@JENGbA took legal action against @CPSUK & today we can announce that they have agreed to monitor data on #jointenterprise prosecutions. This is a huge victory for a grassroots campaign. Thank you @libertyhq for all your hard work. https://t.co/nyvmaTdF9l pic.twitter.com/DUYK6aolgo
— Jan Cunliffe 🧡JENGbA (@Jliffe) February 15, 2023
Survival International asking for emails to stop Peru’s “Genocidal Bill”
Survival International, which advocates for indigenous and uncontacted communities around the world, asked people on 15 February to contact the Peruvian government to stop the so-called “Genocidal Bill“. It said the Peruvian Congress is debating a bill that will open up previously-ringfenced land, lived on by uncontacted tribes, to oil and gas drilling, logging and mining. It will also block attempts to create “desperately needed” reserves for uncontacted tribes that currently have no protection.
Survival International is asking people to send a letter via its online form.
Thousands hold vigils across the UK for murdered trans teenager Brianna Ghey
More than a thousand people held a vigil for Brianna Ghey outside the Department for Education (DfE) in London on 15 February. Transgender Action Bloc, which organised the event, said it wanted to create a space where:
we [can] process the news of yet another trans child failed by the system.
And, following the vigil, it said attendance was “in the low thousands”.
Writer Laurie Penny shared a photo from the event that showed people taking part in a ‘die in’. Other images show the street outside the DfE building crowded with people.
A map marking vigils for Brianna Ghey across the UK and Ireland showed that, by 18 February, there were nearly 50 such events.
Mass die-in outside the Department for Education at the vigil for murdered trans teenager #BriannaGhey. 'They have created a mythology around us that makes us a target. How many of our corpses will it take for you to care?' pic.twitter.com/U0iZVPxe7o
— Laurie Penny (@PennyRed) February 15, 2023
Security disallows food deliveries to occupiers in the University of Manchester
Video shared by University of Manchester (UoM) Rent Strike 2023 on 18 February shows security guards stopping a food delivery from entering the Simon Building. When a delivery person arrives at the building, the video shows a security guard saying:
we are not allowed to let deliveries in
When students from UoM Rent Strike attempt to confirm whether this is now official policy or not, the person at the other end of the line declines to comment and then cuts the line.
The move came after people acting under the banner of UoM Rent Strike 2023 occupied four of the university’s buildings throughout the week. Manchester Evening News reported that the occupations and rent strike are part of a campaign to demand:
a 30% rent cut backdated to October… ‘no disciplinary action against strikers, a cap on rent for the next three years, and for the university to aim to provide student halls which meet the NUS definition of affordable’
UoM Rent Strike 2023 said later on 18 February that it was eventually able to get food to the occupiers through a third floor window using a rigged up pulley system.
URGENT: Security have just physically blocked a food delivery and told us we are no longer allowed to get essential supplies in pic.twitter.com/zcgWoIZPAq
— UoM Rent Strike 2023 (@rentstrikeUoM) February 18, 2023
Featured image via Laurie Penny/Twitter