Bristol set for third Kill The Bill protest today on College Green
Protesters are expected to gather from 4pm
A third protest in opposition to the new police Crime and Sentencing Bill is planned to take place later today on College Green.
The new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is set to give the police far greater powers to respond to protests, including the ability to stop protests due to noise levels and disruption to the public.
In a poster widely circulating social media, the protest calls on people to “Protest for your human rights”. Tensions remain high in the city following the actions of Avon and Somerset police in how they’ve dealt with protesters.
Yesterday, the police force had to retract claims they made on Monday that two officers had suffered broken bones and another had a punctured lung admitting: “Thankfully following a full medical assessment of the two officers taken to hospital, neither were found to have suffered confirmed broken bones.”
It’s also been reported, officers trampled over tributes left in memory of Sarah Everard when dispersing peaceful protesters on Tuesday evening. These tributes had been left undisturbed on College Green following a vigil held for Sarah Everard on the 14th March.
Speaking to Times Radio, Ben Bloch, news editor of The Bristol Tab, said: “People are intent on making their voices heard against this bill, it is about the bill but the focus has also turned a little bit towards the police as well.”
Avon and Somerset Police have issued a statement asking people not to attend protests this weekend and rather to voice their concern with the new bill online or by emailing their local MP.
Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said: “In Avon and Somerset we remain committed to facilitating peaceful protest when it’s safe and lawful to do so, however gatherings remain a breach of COVID restrictions and risk increasing the spread of coronavirus. We urge you not to come.
“Protest is a right which we’re asking people to be responsible about exercising right now. This is about public health and public safety at a time of pandemic.
“Please consider making your voice heard in different ways – such as contacting your MP or signing one of the petitions available online.”