A SCOTTISH disability campaigner who took her fight for fairness to the streets of London has joined the push against sweeping new protest curbs.

Susan Archibald shut down Trafalgar Square with fellow activists in 2012 when they chained their wheelchairs to traffic lights in a protest against the UK welfare assessment regime then administered by Atos.

The Fife woman suffered debilitating injury as a result of surgery and has been campaigning against discrimination since receiving unfair treatment at work. Now she’s backing a new drive by civil liberties charity Liberty against the UK Government’s Policing Bill.

It would ban “disruptive” protests such as that carried out by Archibald, who, in new a video (below), says the right to public protest in England is crucial to Scottish democracy: “Scotland only holds the powers to do certain things. Westminster hold all the powers for the welfare, for the employment, for the legislation. Everything we need comes from London.

“So if I dinnae go to London with everybody else for to fight, it's not going to help anybody in Scotland.”

She went on: “I would go on my hands and knees to beg anybody not to back this bill.”

READ MORE: Home Office defends its actions six months on from Kenmure Street protests

Archibald is amongst a range of activists supporting the campaign. Others include former Gurkha soldiers pressing the government for military pensions equal to those of the British troops they served with, and Sistah Space, who secured safe premises for black domestic violence survivors after their local authority moved them to an unsuitable location.

Parliament’s Joint Committee on Human Rights has said the bill’s proposals are “oppressive and wrong” and three UN special rapporteurs have warned it threatens the rights of the public.

Archibald says she’ll defy it if it’s passed: “If the bill goes through my peers would either be arrested or stopped from campaigning. We do not have fair representation of MSPs or MPs who have a disability and understand what needs to change for us to make things better for the next generation.”

She went on: “Let me be very clear – they will have to arrest me because I will never be silenced or prevented from campaigning peacefully for the very basic human rights my peers need to live, not just survive.”

Liberty argues that the Policing Bill, which would give officers in England and Wales the power to shut down protests they decide have become too noisy or “disruptive”, will “will stifle protest and impose more surveillance and control over minoritised communities”.

Its provisions include heavy fines and sentences of up to 10 years imprisonment, as well as protest-related stop and search powers. The way of life for Gypsy and Traveller communities would also be threatened, Liberty says.

However, the Home Office has disputed such claims, stating that the bill “in no way changes the fundamental place that protest has in our democracy” and that “we cannot allow highly disruptive demonstrations, which often trample over the rights of others, to go unchallenged”.

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in October, Home Secretary Priti Patel stated: “Freedom to protest is a fundamental right our party will forever fight to uphold. But it must be within the law.”