Kill the Bill protest returns to take over Manchester city centre
Hundreds of people marched through Manchester against the proposed policing bill
Hundreds of people marched through Manchester city centre on Saturday to protest the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill which would affect how we can protest. The ‘Kill the Bill’ protests are a revival of similar protests that started in March of last year.
The protest began at 1pm with speeches in St Peter’s Square, before marching to Piccadilly Gardens, through Market Street past Arndale, and back to St Peter’s Square along Deansgate, finishing with more speeches in St Peter’s Square at 4pm.
The protest was accompanied by a marching band and closely followed by police. Several trams and roads were blocked temporarily along the route.
The Kill the Bill Coalition was protesting the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, which they say would allow ‘disruptive’ protesters to potentially be fined £10,000 and imprisoned for up to ten years.
The protestors also aimed their opposition at the Nationality and Borders bill, which would give the Government the ability to strip British people of their citizenship if it is deemed “in the public interest” and if they have the possibility of dual citizenship without prior notice.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill is going to be voted on in the House of Lords on 17th January whilst the Nationality and Borders bill currently remains at the committee stage.
Speakers at the event said the bill would “control any opposition” and would “disproportionately affect minorities” including the traveller community.
The groups who joined the march included: All Black Lives Matter Manchester, Cops Off Campus UoM, Extinction Rebellion Manchester, Manchester People’s Assembly and Sisters Uncut Manchester, among many others.
One protest organiser said: “The groups demand that the PCSC and Borders bills are not enacted and that the funds and political will, which the government have put into increasing policing, prisons and border regimes, would be better spent tackling the cost-of-living crisis, funding social housing, schools, social and health care.”
A member of No Borders Manchester said: “It will especially affect the rights and experiences of racialised and minoritised communities…both bills are focused on challenging human rights, breaking communities apart and dividing us”.
The groups say they intend to continue protesting until the bills’ progress are stopped.