United Kingdom: Parts of a controversial anti-protest law go into effect ahead of King Charles’ coronation

(CNN) Controversial parts Public Order BillThe law, which enables British police to take stronger action against peaceful protesters, will go into effect on Wednesday, days before the coronation of King Charles III.

The Home Office said the Public Order Act on Tuesday received royal assent from King Charles, a formality and the final hurdle before the bill becomes law.

The Home Office said in a statement that the decision “will give police powers to prevent disruptions to major sporting and cultural events taking place this summer in England and Wales”.

Specific measures will be introduced into law from Wednesday.

The Home Office said that from May 3, prolonged protest methods such as lockdowns (in which protesters attach themselves physically to objects such as buildings) could result in a six-month prison sentence or an “unlimited fine”.

She added that the law also means that police will have the power to stop and search protesters “for things like padlocks, super glue and drilling tools if they suspect they are setting out to cause mayhem”. She added that individuals who are found with such items and who intend to use them will also face criminal charges.

This comes just before the coronation of the anti-royalty Sabbath have vowed to protest it.

The bill also openly targets groups such as Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion and Just Stop Oil, all of which have used disruptive tactics in their protests against the government.

“The public should not have their daily lives destroyed by so-called environmental warriors causing disruption and wasting millions of pounds of taxpayer money,” Home Secretary Soella Braverman said in a statement on Tuesday.

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“The selfish minority must not be allowed to get away with this. We are giving the police and courts the tools they need to stop this chaos and I support them in making full use of these powers.”

Human rights campaigners have accused the government of trying to suppress free speech with law, while opposition politicians claim that Downing Street is simply trying to distract from the myriad of bad things in the UK right now.

Since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last year, there have been a number of instances in which anti-monarchists have appeared at royal engagements to air their grievances against the establishment.

Coronation costs

Amid the rising cost of living crisis now affecting the whole of the United Kingdom, the government has refused to put a figure on the cost of the coronation, with British media estimates ranging from £50 million to more than £100 million ($63 million to $125 million).

Buckingham Palace said late Tuesday that true cost figures related to King Charles’ coronation will be shared in due course, after questions were raised about the money spent on the state event during the national cost-of-living crisis.

I’ve seen a number of different estimated numbers floating around, some more fanciful than others. In response to concerns about the cost of living in the UK, a palace spokesperson said in a statement: “Real figures will be shared in due course where expenditure relates to the Sovereign Grant or government costs.”

The statement went on to say that great state events, such as the Queen’s funeral, tend to generate more money than money spent on such events.

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“One of the lessons learned from the funeral of Her late Majesty the Queen is how a national occasion like this, a great governmental occasion, attracts huge global interest that increases the reimbursement of the accompanying expenses, and even far exceeds it in terms of enhancing our economy and the prestige of our nation,” the statement added.

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