‘Kill the Bill’ protesters gather for fourth demo in Bristol

Rod Minchin, PA
·2-min read

Protesters have gathered for the fourth time in 10 days in Bristol for a Kill the Bill demonstration.

About a hundred people have met on College Green to rally against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

In a tweet on Tuesday night as the demonstration began, Avon and Somerset Police said officers “have engaged with a number of people who have gathered on College Green in Bristol for a planned protest”.

Kill The Bill protesters in Bristol
Kill The Bill protesters in Bristol (Ben Birchall/PA)

The force, which said around a hundred people were in attendance so far, added that its aim was “to facilitate a peaceful protest which complies with the legislation”.

There have been three demonstrations in Bristol since March 21 against the proposed legislation, with violence erupting on each occasion.

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

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

Some 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 descended into a riot when some 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.

Kill The Bill protesters
Avon and Somerset Police said its aim was ‘to facilitate a peaceful protest which complies with the legislation’ (Ben Birchall/PA)

Ahead of the fourth event, police had urged organisers to “engage” with the force due to changes in the coronavirus regulations that now allow peaceful protests.

Superintendent Mark Runacres, Bristol area commander, said: “Following changes to Covid regulations, there is now an exemption to allow peaceful protests.

“We do understand the strength of opposition to the new legislation being debated in Parliament but we’re asking people to exercise their right to protest responsibly due to the clear health concerns.”

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.