In this article, I discuss the ‘Kill the Bill’ protests in Bristol and what the policing Bill means for protesters. I also discuss the impact of the Bill on slackline protests. Understanding what’s happening in Bristol and what is at stake for protesters is essential.
‘Kill the bill’ protests in Bristol.
Violent clashes between police and protesters accompanied the ‘Kill the Bill’ protests last Saturday in Bristol. The protest started peacefully but soon turned violent as demonstrators threw stones and set vehicles alight. They also vandalized the police station and scrawled the words “Kill the Bill” across the roads. The protests were so violent that smoke poured into the sky, and two people were found defecating at the feet of police officers. Police Chief Inspector Andy Marsh was concerned about similar incidents in other cities.
The ‘Kill the Bill’ protests in Bristol have caused public tension and fear in some communities. There were also reports of blading, a tactic widely believed to have caused the injuries. In one case, a protester named Carolyn York reported being struck three times with a police baton and was thought to have a broken hand. She also claimed that a police dog bit her. Despite her complaints, the investigation into her injuries was stopped.
The ‘Kill the bill’ protests have caused many arrests and jail sentences. Since the protests began, at least 19 people have been sentenced for violent behavior. The most recent person to be arrested and convicted of rioting, Charly Pitman, was given a sentence of three years at the Bristol Crown Court. Pitman was in front of the protesters blocking the entrance to the police station in Bridewell.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Bristol last Friday to protest the police’s new powers to deal with non-violent protests. The protesters marched to the Nelson Street police station and climbed on top of police vans. Throughout the rally, the police officers involved in the incident were injured.
The ‘Kill the bill’ protests took place across the UK and were met with police brutality. The Bill is intended to restrict the rights of protesters to hold peaceful rallies and could result in fines and prison sentences for violators. While no further physical protests were planned, online demonstrations are expected to occur over the coming days.
The police have charged dozens of protesters with rioting. However, they are still looking for more suspects at large. Police have also been pursuing the prosecution of those involved in the Bristol ‘Kill the bill’ protests. At least three of the arrested people have been homeless. Others have mental health and learning difficulties. Among the arrested protesters was Ryan Roberts, who attempted to set fire to occupied police vans. He has been diagnosed with ADHD and lives on the fringes of society.
Protesters also set fire to police vehicles and smashed shop windows. About twenty police officers were injured, two of them critically. In addition, seven people were arrested. Despite the rioting, the Bill has already been passed by Parliament. It now goes to a committee where it will be assessed. The committee will consider the Bill carefully and may suggest amendments.
Impact of policing Bill on slackline protests in Bristol
Police have pressed ahead with a riot charge against protesters in Bristol after a year-long investigation into clashes over the police and crime bill. A riot charge carries a maximum prison term of 10 years. This charge is not generally used against protesters, but the police are determined to pursue those who disrupt public order.
The police must prove there was a risk of severe public disorder, property damage, or community disruption. However, the police will happily escort far-right demonstrations against Islam or climate change without question if they can arrest you for simply crossing the road at Cabot Circus or blocking traffic on the M32. A slackline protest in Bristol could be considered an extreme incident, but the police insist they are not violent.
As a result of the recent protests, 19 people have been jailed. The latest of these was Charly Pitman, who was found guilty of rioting in Bristol Crown Court and sentenced to three years in prison. He was part of the crowd, which struck police shields and helmets.
As a result of the new Bill, the police will have more extraordinary powers to restrict protests. They will be able to impose stricter noise limits and make protests a criminal offense. If protestors fail to comply with these restrictions, they could be fined up to PS2,500.
The CPS has made charges against many protesters, and many are due to stand trial later this year. In the meantime, 13 people have been sentenced to prison, including a man convicted of rioting, five people for throwing objects at police officers, and one woman jailed for five months for urinating on police officers.
Protesters have challenged the official narrative and police tactics. The aggressive nature of the protest has been compared to the Poll Tax riots. As such, the events of Sunday night will affect whether the Bill is passed. It is crucial to understand the impact of police coercive power on protests and ensure that citizens can hold the police accountable.