Kill The Bill protest takes place in Piccadilly Gardens and Manchester city centre

Protests took place against gendered violence and the new policing bill

On Saturday, two protests run by Sisters Uncut MCR took place in support of Kill The Bill.

The Bill, introduced by Priti Patel, would mean police could arrest protesters for up to ten years and fine protesters up to £2,500. They would be able to regulate protest start and finish times, set noise limits and punish people for “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance”. These measures are in part a response to the Extinction Rebellion protests in 2019.

After an earlier protest at 12 pm, the main protest began at 4:30 pm in Piccadilly Gardens, before marching to Piccadilly Square.

At Piccadilly Square there were speeches and chants, including “Kill the Bill” and “Whose Streets? Our streets” and “No Justice, No Peace”.

Most protesters wore masks and were socially distanced. There were speeches by the leaders of the protest, focussing on the Bill and facts about gendered violence.

Credit to Ben McGowan

After the first set of speeches the protesters marched past the town hall and St Peter’s Square, through Deansgate back to Piccadilly Square. Once there the protest leaders invited anyone from the crowd who wanted to step up and give speeches.

Protesters came forward to speak against police oppression, list recent statistics and the names of women attacked, and implore the protesters to come up with ‘positive solutions’. Placards focussed on gendered violence and the bill.

The protest ended at 7:30 pm. Protesters left placards in Piccadilly Square, along with flowers to honour victims of gendered violence.

A protest spokesperson said: “No justice, no peace, no racist police”.

There has been mass opposition to this Bill, with protests taking place last week across the UK. One reason people are so opposed to the Bill is because they claim it does not offer sufficient protection for women and comes at a time when the government should be supporting reform for women, not shutting down their protests. Critics of the bill also include Theresa May, the Labour party and some police commissioners.

The protests also focused heavily on gendered violence after a police officer has been charged with the murder of Sarah Everard a few weeks ago.

There have been Reclaim the Night events online this week to try to tackle sexual assault against women, with 97 per cent of young women having experienced it.

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