Wednesday, 05 May, 2021


‘Kill the Bill’ protest turns violent in Bristol

Protesters take to streets of Manchester in anger over new crime and policing bill Protesters Rally in Bristol Against Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill
Conrad Doyle | 22 March, 2021, 17:32

"Number of officers badly injured, police vehicles damaged and a police station under attack".

Police horses are deployed as they hold back people outside Bridewell police station in Bristol.

Bristol's mayor Marvin Rees said he had "major concerns" about the bill, but condemned the violence.

Avon and Somerset Police has said it will now be carrying out a "significant investigation to identify all those responsible".

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "This is not about protecting the right to protest, it's violent criminality from a hardcore minority who will hijack any situation for their own aims". A Metropolitan Police officer was charged with kidnapping and murdering the 33 year old.

At least nine cars had the windscreens smashed in and vandalised as a wave of violent protest hit Bristol last night.

"Avon and Somerset Police Federation are attending stations to support officers".

"It wasn't people frustrated with the lack of ability to protest - this was people intent on causing serious disorder, violence and damage, people with a grudge against policing".

"We have officers with suspected broken arms and ribs".

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted about the "unacceptable scenes". "They're an absolute disgrace and they do not represent Bristol".

One protester told Sky News: "I think it was important to be down here when things are peaceful because the right to protest is crucial to any democracy obviously".

"Officers have been subjected to considerable levels of abuse and violence".

"Both have been taken to hospital".

"These are men and women out there with the intention of serving and protecting the public - they should never be subjected to assaults or abuse in this way".

Many were wearing face masks and carried placards, saying: "Say no to United Kingdom police state" and "Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy" and "Kill the Bill".

The event had begun as a demonstration against Prime Minister Boris Johnson's flagship policing bill, which critics say would hand the police and ministers powers that could seriously curb the ability of citizens to protest peacefully.

Mass gatherings are now banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching regulations could be fined, though some MPs have said the law should change to allow protests.

"Enforcement action will be taken retrospectively when necessary and proportionate".

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