Kill The Bill protesters are threatening chaos over Easter with ‘National Weekend of Action’ at towns and cities across UK
- Kill The Bill protesters have called for a ‘National Weekend of Action’ over Easter
- Yesterday saw ten arrests at a third Bristol protest and eighteen in Manchester
- More than 100 riot officers disperse a crowd of more than 1,000 people in Bristol
Several Kill The Bill protests are scheduled to take part in a ‘National Weekend of Action’ over what could be a chaotic Easter, following more violent clashes in Bristol.
Calls for protesters in all cities to gather to to oppose controversial anti-protest legislation on Saturday April 3 have been shared widely online.
Protests are expected to take place in London, Plymouth and Bournemouth on what is forecast to be a sunny weekend and the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions.
Kill the Bill demonstrators yesterday ignored officers’ pleas to stay at home as they marched in rallies across Britain – another night of violence in Bristol saw ten protestors arrested.
In Manchester police made eighteen arrests yesterday, as pictures showed protesters clashing with officers.
Calls for protesters in all cities to gather to to oppose controversial anti-protest legislation on Saturday April 3 have been shared widely online
A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said they were monitoring a ‘largely peaceful and contained’ group at around 1pm before demonstrators began to cause ‘significant disruption’ by sitting on tram lines in the city centre.
Scenes of violence have erupted in Bristol over the past week, with demonstrators seen hurling fireworks and eggs at riot officers while protesting the government’s upcoming Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The legislation would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, with those convicted under the bill liable to fines or jail terms.
Protesters march through the streets on Saturday March 27 in Falmouth, Cornwall
Protesters clash with police officers during an anti-lockdown protest in Bradford yesterday
Yesterday Boris Johnson condemned a ‘mob intent on violence’. The Prime Minister slammed the ‘disgraceful’ demonstration and hit out at those ‘intent on violence and causing damage to property’.
He was backed by Priti Patel who blasted the ‘thugs’ who were ‘only intent on causing trouble’ at the Kill the Bill march in Bristol on Friday night.
The Home Secretary said she was ‘disgusted’ by the attacks on police, which saw protesters launch fireworks at officers on horseback outside Bridewell Police Station.
She said the force ‘have my full support’ and added she believed the ‘silent, law-abiding majority will be appalled by the actions of this criminal minority’.
Demonstrators block the tram tracks during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Manchester City Centre yesterday
Protesters who were blocking tram lines in Manchester were seen being moved by police on Saturday as others watched on with their smartphones
Organisers called on demonstrators to keep up social distancing throughout the rally. Most protesters appeared to be wearing masks. Pictured: A demonstrator trying to run from police
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said in a statement last night: ‘The violence on our streets is unwelcome. Of particular concern are the number of people travelling into our city to protest or to cause conflict. You can protest in your own town or village, without travelling to ours.
‘The question those engaging in the action should be asking is: is what I am doing advancing the cause I claim to be campaigning for? Many people protested peacefully but there are a number who refuse to go home and others who are here merely to cause conflict: the Bill itself is not their cause, it is their opportunity.
‘If the protests are meant to reduce the likelihood of the Bill, then the actions of some of these protestors are politically illiterate and strategically inept. The actions make the Bill more likely and protesting in Labour-led Bristol does not put any pressure on the Conservative MPs who will be required for the Bill to pass.’
He then went on to praise the ‘sensitivity’ of the Avon and Somerset Police in Bristol, who he said had ‘developed a strong culture of working with our communities.’
A protestor wearing a white balaclava points towards a police officer in riot gear on March 26 in Bristol
Police officers detain a man as they move in on demonstrators in Bristol during the ‘Kill The Bill’ protest, Friday night
Ten arrests were made after what police called unacceptable ‘violent conduct’ at the third Kill the Bill demonstration in Bristol
More than 100 riot officers started to disperse the crowd of more than 1,000 people in Bristol on Friday
Due to the mass of people gathering in Bristol other police forces were also drafted in from neighbouring constabularies.
Mr Rees referred to a number of ‘incidents’ on Friday night which he said will be reviewed. Videos on social media showed a ‘journalist’ being shoved back by officers.
More than 100 riot officers started to disperse the crowd of more than 1,000 people after eggs, bottles and traffic cones were pelted at them, with snarling dogs marched forwards to force the demonstrators back.
Officers were also seen beating at least one protester across the thighs as he refused to go quietly when he was apprehended.
Ten arrests were made after what police called unacceptable ‘violent conduct’ at the third Kill the Bill demonstration.
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