It’s awesome to see skeptics organize and create real political change, and it’s continuing to happen here in the UK* in the fight to protect free speech (such as speech critical of quack treatments). At 2pm on Tuesday, 23 March, the Libel Reform coalition has organized a mass lobby at the House of Commons, and you should be there. I will!
It’s our best chance to put real, in-person pressure on the government before the election. The more people who show, the better able we’ll be to show MPs that libel reform has serious support.
You can just show up and be counted, but the best thing to do is to contact your MP directly and let them know they should meet you there. Here’s all the info from the Libel Reform Campaign . . . I hope to see you there!
1) Find out who your MP is, and their contact details, here: www.theyworkforyou.com
2) Email them or write to them.
Identify yourself as a constituent â€“ give your postal address.
Tell your MP: I will be coming to the House of Commons on Tuesday 23rd March at 2 pm for a meeting on libel law reform in Committee Room 15. I would like to meet you at that meeting or afterwards in the Central Lobby between 3 pm and 4pm to find out where you and your party stand.
3) Turn up on the day
What will happen on the day?
Come to the Cromwell Green entrance to the Houses of Parliament. You will have to allow about 20 minutes to pass through security and to get to Committee Room 15 between 2 and 3pm. We will hear from high profile Champions of the campaign on why the political parties need to commit to reform libel laws which are unjust, against the public interest and an international menace and, we hope, from spokespeople for the parties on justice matters. Your MP may be there if you wrote to them. We can ask them en masse what they are doing to get a manifesto commitment for libel law reform or you can ask them personally.
Usually your MP will reply to your email agreeing to meet you in central lobby or apologising for not being around (you should ask to meet their researcher in that case).
The election in the UK is expected to be on Thursday 6th May so Parliament will rise very soon. This is our only chance for a mass lobby to change these archaic, restrictive laws.
*I keep using “UK” to refer to this issue and several people have complained that it is an English issue and Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have nothing to do with it. It’s my understanding that the coalition also needs all UK constituents to pressure their representatives, and that’s why I continue to use the more inclusive term.