Hundreds of demonstrators joined marches and rallies throughout Britain on Saturday as a part of a “nationwide weekend of motion” in opposition to a proposed new legislation that may give police additional powers to curb protests.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts invoice would toughen measures officers can take to disperse demonstrations, reminiscent of imposing time and noise limits, which campaigners and activists concern can be used to curb dissent.
Since the invoice was introduced earlier than parliament final month, there have been sporadic protests, notably in Bristol, southwest England, the place demonstrations turned violent with officers and a police station bombarded with bricks and glass bottles and police automobiles set on hearth.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised what he described as “disgraceful assaults” on officers, however protesters have accused police of utilizing heavy-handed techniques.
On Saturday, local weather change group Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) motion joined different activists for “kill the invoice” rallies in London and different cities and cities, together with Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Brighton.
“The authorities are attempting to curtail protests – particularly BLM and XR – that’s what this invoice is all about. We need the clauses on this invoice about protests quashed,” stated Mark Duncan, considered one of a crowd of greater than 500 marching by central London, banging drums and chanting.
Days of protests by Extinction Rebellion paralysed elements of London in early 2019, motion which fuelled calls from some politicians for the police to be given the harder powers to stop extreme disruption.
Demonstrations had not been permitted whereas a coronavirus lockdown was in place, however restrictions have been eased this week, which means organised rallies can go forward offering they’re “COVID safe”.
In London, police warned, “enforcement motion shall be taken, if wanted, within the pursuits of public well being”.
Some senior officers have stated the “kill the invoice” tag was intentionally provocative as “the invoice” is a nickname in Britain for the police.
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