1. Health - including face masks

GBC does not have a position on whether or how people should protest during lockdown. We do however, have an ongoing commitment to legal rights and opposing repressive policing of protests.

Many people are aiming to keep to social distancing when protesting. You should be aware however that police movements may make this difficult, and it is possible that police lines could prevent you being able to leave a situation, even if your health is threatened.

If you wish to avoid crowds but still support people taking action, you could help organise police station support. In most cases it should be possible to carry out this valuable role whilst maintaining social distancing (though we do not recommend this role to people who are high risk or shielding).

Facemasks & coverings

Many people are choosing to wear facemasks to protect themselves and others from coronavirus, and you have the right to cover your face during a demonstration.

The police cannot require you to remove a face covering unless it is during a Stop and Search, or there is a blanket 60AA power in place and “there is reason to believe that the item is being worn wholly or mainly for the purpose of disguising identity”.

Given the current government guidance encouraging the use of facemasks in public for health reasons, if police demand you to remove a facemask ask “under what power”. Please contact courtsupport@protonmail.com if you have experienced a demand to remove a mask.

Key Messages

  • No Comment
  • You do not need to answer police questions, so don’t.

  • No Personal Details
  • You don't have to give details under ANY stop and search power.

  • No Duty Solicitor
  • Use a recommended solicitor with protest experience.

  • No Caution
  • They admit guilt for an alleged offence that might never get to court.

  • What Power?
  • Ask "What power?" to challenge a police officer to act lawfully.