Fourth ‘Kill the Bill’ protest passes off peacefully in Bristol

Rod Minchin, PA
·2-min read

Another “Kill the Bill” protest in Bristol passed off peacefully as hundreds of demonstrators marched through the city’s streets for the fourth time in 10 days.

Between 200 and 300 people gathered on College Green before marching through the city centre to stage a sit-down protest outside Bridewell police station – the scene of previous flash points.

Uniformed police officers watched from a distance as the crowd sat in the street, played reggae music and shouted “Peaceful protest”, “Our streets” and “Kill the Bill”.

After marching through the city centre people staged a sit in outside Bridewell police station (Ben Birchall/PA).
After marching through the city centre, people staged a sit-in outside Bridewell police station (Ben Birchall/PA).

Superintendent Mark Edgington, of Avon and Somerset Police, said: “From the outset we had a very positive dialogue with those gathering at College Green, led by our police liaison officers.

“We were committed to facilitating a peaceful protest in line with the Covid-19 legislation.

“We’d like to thank all those who engaged with us and to those who expressed their views in a peaceful and respectful manner.

“Now that restrictions around protest have changed, we wanted to press a reset button, and I believe we achieved this last night.

“We have a long and proud history of facilitating peaceful protests spanning many years and today was a prime example of this.

“In terms of future events, we continue to urge people to engage with us as early as possible and have a conversation around how we can assist in ensuring lawful protests continue to take place.”

There have been three demonstrations in Bristol since March 21 against the proposed the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, with violence erupting on each occasion.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

On Friday night, 10 arrests were made, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel condemning the scenes.

About 300 people initially joined a protest march before the crowd swelled to more than 1,000 as tempers flared.

Avon and Somerset Police said glass bottles, bricks and eggs were thrown at officers and fireworks were launched at its mounted division, with one horse being daubed with paint.

The first protest on March 21 descended into a riot when about 500 people marched on Bridewell police station and set fire to police vehicles and attacked the station.

The following Tuesday, there was a further demonstration with 15 arrests made after trouble flared when police began moving protesters from College Green.

The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 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 liable to fines or jail terms.