‘Kill the Bill’ protest to go ahead in Bristol city centre tonight

It will be the seventh protest in three weeks against the Government’s Police Bill

Tristan Cork

Bristol Live | April 09, 2021

A seventh protest in Bristol against the Government’s proposed Police and Crime Bill is set to go ahead this evening.

Details of the protest, which has no official organisers, are being circulated on social media, with the call to gather on College Green in Bristol city centre again at 6pm.

Police have said they will be there to ‘facilitate peaceful protest’, and that there is an exemption under current Covid regulations that allows for peaceful protest.

It is unknown at this stage how many people will be attending College Green from 6pm, but a tweet from the ‘Alternative Bristol’ Twitter account appeared to scotch any thoughts that the protest might be postponed or cancelled with the news of the death of the Duke of Edinburgh.

“Back in the real world, not the Royal’s world, the campaigns for Freedom to Protest continue with Bristol protests to ‘Kill the Bill’,” they wrote.

Two protests are currently planned – one this evening, Friday April 9, and another in Bristol next Saturday, April 17, as part of a second ‘National Day of Action’. Posters circulating online today for the protest this evening are urging those taking part to wear black.

Numbers of people attending the ‘Killl the Bill’ protests in Bristol have varied dramatically. The first protest held on Sunday March 21, saw as many as 5,000 people gather on College Green and march peacefully to Castle Park, before a breakaway group of around 1,000 went to Bridewell police station, which ended in clashes with the police and the police station attacked.

Subsequent protests in the week that followed saw around 1,000 people dispersed by force by police with dogs, horses, shields and batons from the Haymarket, around 200 people dispersed using force by the police from College Green.

After the easing of the ‘stay-at-home’ lockdown rule, police have stepped back and allowed protests to disperse themselves – around 1,000 people staged a sit down protest outside Bridewell police station in late March, and subsequent protests at College Green and at the BBC in Whiteladies Road have seen thousands more take to the streets in events that have been largely peaceful.

Police said they will adopt similar tactics this evening.

“Police are aware of social media reports of a further protest in Bristol today (Friday 9 April),” said a spokesperson.

“While large gatherings continue to pose risk of spreading COVID-19, an exemption under current regulations allows for peaceful protest provided the organisers have put suitable health and safety precautions in place.

“Specialist liaison officers and neighbourhood teams will be on the ground to work with the protestors to facilitate peaceful protest,” he added.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Back to top
%d bloggers like this: