Ninth ‘Kill The Bill’ protest takes place in Bristol

They briefly occupied Broad Key, blocking access through the city centre

The ninth “Kill The Bill” protest took place today in Bristol’s city centre, lasting six hours.

The protest started at 2pm on College Green with a large crowd, who then marched through the city centre, and back to College Green.

A smaller crowd then marched a second time through Bristol, and occupied the road outside of the Hippodrome, blocking a key artery through Bristol.

Police seemed on the brink of removing protesters from the road, when the group of around 40 people marched up Park Street to the Clifton Triangle, eventually ending back on College Green around 8pm.

Hundreds gathered on College Green

They were protesting against the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would give the police greater powers to respond to protests. The government says this Bill is necessary because the current legislation, Public Order Act 1986, is not suited for “the highly disruptive protests we experience today”.

Hundreds gathered on College Green at 2pm for the protest, where it was reported that there was a jovial atmosphere, and protesters marched throughout the city centre.

The march ended at College Green at around 4pm, where protesters took turns giving speeches to the crowd of around 100 people who remained.

Protesters took turns giving passionate speeches to the crowd

The crowd then began marching again through the city centre, past Bridewell police station, and attempted to march onto the M32 motorway into Bristol. They were prevented from doing so by lines of police and police vans who blocked access.

They then marched back towards College Green, and on their way they sat down on the road outside of the Hippodrome, blocking traffic heading towards Park Street.

The occupation started at around 6:15pm, and ended at about 6:50pm when officers made it clear that they could not stay there.

Police told Bristol Live and the protesters that they wanted to facilitate a peaceful protest as much as possible, having said so in statements this week leading up to today.

The remaining 30-40 protesters continued up Park Street, before circling back and ending where it all started: College Green.

One protester commented “there’s more police than protesters”, and the Bristol Live reporter on scene commented that it did seem the numbers were very similar in the last 3 hours of the demonstration.

This is the ninth “Kill The Bill” protest so far, and numbers are far smaller than the first one that took place nearly a month ago. That said, the crowd was sizeable, and there are likely to be more protests to come.

Featured image: Bristol Live (L)

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