Clean-up operation begins after night of protests in Bristol

Thousands of masked thugs were today slammed as ‘revolutionary tourists’ after they tore through Bristol in a ‘night of thuggery’, smashing through the windows of a police station and attacking officers during a ‘Kill The Bill’ riot. 

Around 5,000 activists, claiming to protect the right to demonstrate peacefully, gathered in the city centre on Sunday for the demonstration to oppose plans to give police more powers to deal with non-violent protests. 

But the scenes descended into chaos as rioters set police vehicles alight and left a trail of devastation in their wake. 

A huge clean-up operation is underway this morning, as Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees condemned the violence which marred a protest about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning: ‘It’s not even political. There’s no connection between what they’re doing and the real work we’re doing. These are just self-indulgent, self-centred people coming here looking for a conflict to take advantage of.’

Five arrests were made overnight and two officers were seriously injured, suffering broken ribs and an arm after violent skirmishes. At least 12 ten other officers also sustained injuries. 

The furious Mayor said they were ‘a group of people running around the country looking for any opportunity to enter into physical conflict with police or representatives of what they see as they establishment.’

He told Good Morning Britain: ‘These group of people, irrespective of the issue, they were out there to cause problems for whatever revolutionary fantasy they’re playing at. 

‘It would be quite interesting in the mop up, not just to have these people arrested, but to see where they actually come from, because I imagine a few are not actually from this city, but are revolutionary tourists as it were.

‘What they’ve done has nothing to do with the bill and in fact as everyone’s been pointing out, it will be used as evidence by people who want to support the bill. They’ve no strategy, they’ve no connection to any real politics it’s just taking the opportunity to express their emotions of whatever distorted source they have.’  

The chairman of the police federation dubbed the rioters ‘a mob of animals’ while Government minister Helen Whately condemned the scenes as ‘disgraceful’ today. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel branded the scenes ‘unacceptable’ and said ‘thuggery and disorder’ would never be tolerated. 

One man clashed\u00A0with members of the press outside Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this morning, after five arrests were made overnight

One man clashed\u00A0with members of the press outside Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this morning, after five arrests were made overnight

One man clashed with members of the press outside Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this morning, after five arrests were made overnight 

A huge clean-up operation is underway this morning, as Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees condemned the violence which marred a protest about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

A huge clean-up operation is underway this morning, as Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees condemned the violence which marred a protest about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

A huge clean-up operation is underway this morning, as Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees condemned the violence which marred a protest about the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Teams of workers are out in force this morning cleaning up the city after the night of chaos

Teams of workers are out in force this morning cleaning up the city after the night of chaos

Teams of workers are out in force this morning cleaning up the city after the night of chaos 

Street cleaners work outside the police station the morning after demonstrators clashed with police

Street cleaners work outside the police station the morning after demonstrators clashed with police

Street cleaners work outside the police station the morning after demonstrators clashed with police

Seven people were arrested after a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol turned violent last night

Seven people were arrested after a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol turned violent last night

Seven people were arrested after a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol turned violent last night 

Avon and Somerset police have condemned scenes which saw a police station come under siege

Avon and Somerset police have condemned scenes which saw a police station come under siege

Avon and Somerset police have condemned scenes which saw a police station come under siege

Rioters set police vehicles on fire as protesters clashed with officers in the shocking scenes last night

Rioters set police vehicles on fire as protesters clashed with officers in the shocking scenes last night

Rioters set police vehicles on fire as protesters clashed with officers in the shocking scenes last night

Demonstrators stand near a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators stand near a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators stand near a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

A demonstrator skateboards in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol,\u00A0Sunday

A demonstrator skateboards in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol,\u00A0Sunday

A demonstrator skateboards in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, Sunday

A demonstrator gestures in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

A demonstrator gestures in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

A demonstrator gestures in front of a burning police vehicle during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

A vandalised police van explodes outside Bridewell Police Station, after protesters set it on fire

A vandalised police van explodes outside Bridewell Police Station, after protesters set it on fire

A vandalised police van explodes outside Bridewell Police Station, after protesters set it on fire

A demonstrator gestures near a burning police vehicle as two other vans arrive at the scene to drive protesters away

A demonstrator gestures near a burning police vehicle as two other vans arrive at the scene to drive protesters away

A demonstrator gestures near a burning police vehicle as two other vans arrive at the scene to drive protesters away

The health minister told Sky News this morning: ‘What we’ve seen in Bristol, those protests were completely unacceptable, just disgraceful behaviour in fact.

‘It was one of these occasions where, if I understand it right, there was a peaceful protest and then a small minority from that protest then turned it very ugly and we saw those scenes of completely unacceptable violence.

‘Not only the damage and the vandalism of police property but, worse still, injuring police officers, so we’re seeing officers with serious injuries and going to hospital. That clearly should not happen, it is unacceptable and inexcusable.’

Avon and Somerset police chief constable Andy Marsh has said those involved in violence at the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol can expect ‘very serious consequences’ as he revealed five arrests had been made so far.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that ‘it wouldn’t have been practical or possible to have made more on the night given the volume of people involved’.

He said: ‘Rest assured, by the end of today we will be releasing pictures of some of the people we want. There will be a huge investigation. I do expect very serious consequences for those involved.’

He added ‘most seriously 12 of my brave officers have been injured, two of them seriously, doing their best to protect property and the people of Bristol from what was violent criminality and thuggery’.

He said the numbers at the demonstration ‘very quickly’ rose to possibly as many as 3,000 people and a group of 400 or 500 ‘who really were intent on violence, damage and criminality started to commit crimes, damage police vehicles’ at about 6pm outside Bridewell police station in central Bristol.

He described Bridewell as a neighbourhood station which is also used by police officers to protect the most vulnerable in the city.

He told the programme: ‘We know they have burnt out three marked vehicles, nine vehicles that are used for safeguarding the most vulnerable have also been damaged and the windows of the station have been put in.’

Footage captured the descent into anarchy as protesters clashed with police armed with batons and pepper spray.

Mounted officers were seen attempting to disperse a large crowd gathered outside Bridewell Police Station.

Later a group of hooded protesters tried to smash the windows of the glass-fronted police station and another mob set fire to a police van parked in nearby Bridewell Street. 

Protesters managed to get up onto the roof of the first floor of the police station and rained down missiles on the police, who lined up to defend the entrance of the police station.

Three police vans were driven into the area, but one was damaged, had its tyres let down and then a fire was built underneath it, burning it out completely as darkness fell.

In other scenes, officers with police dogs were seen attempting to hold back large crowds as demonstrators scaled the walls of the police station and threw fireworks.

Other videos and pictures on social media showed dozens of officers in riot gear guarding the entrance to the station and protesters trying to roll a police van daubed with graffiti.

Andy Roebuck, chairman of the Avon and Somerset Police Federation, said: ‘Disgusting scenes in Bristol by a mob of animals who are injuring police officers, members of the public and damaging property.

‘Avon and Somerset Police Federation are attending stations to support officers. We have officers with suspected broken arms and ribs. This is so wrong.’  

Chief Superintendent Will White of Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘What started out as a peaceful protest has been turned by a small minority into violent disorder.

‘Officers have been subjected to considerable levels of abuse and violence. One suffered a broken arm and another suffered broken ribs. Both have been taken to hospital. At least two police vehicles have been set on fire and damage has been caused to the outside of the station.’

He added: ‘We have requested mutual aid from neighbouring forces to bring this incident to a safe conclusion.’ 

People watch a burning police vehicle during the protest, which has become violent with protesters attacking a police station

People watch a burning police vehicle during the protest, which has become violent with protesters attacking a police station

People watch a burning police vehicle during the protest, which has become violent with protesters attacking a police station

A vandalised police van on fire outside Bridewell Police Station, as other police vehicles arrive

A vandalised police van on fire outside Bridewell Police Station, as other police vehicles arrive

A vandalised police van on fire outside Bridewell Police Station, as other police vehicles arrive

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

This morning, a spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: ‘I can confirm seven arrests have been made overnight.

‘We will now be carrying out a significant investigation to identify all those responsible.

‘There were in region of 12 officers injured – with two taken to hospital with serious injuries.

‘We will be carrying out high profile patrols today.’

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees added: ‘Smashing buildings in our city centre, vandalising vehicles, attacking our police will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of the Bill going through.

‘On the contrary, the lawlessness on show will be used as evidence and promote the need for the Bill.

‘This is a shameful day in an incredible year for Bristol.’

He warned: ‘Being a black man, I’m from a community that’s disproportionately likely to end up on the wrong side of the criminal justice system and receive unfair treatment from the system, if they make the bill more likely, it does not bring me closer to justice, it pushes justice away.’ 

He added: ‘The violence and damage that have emerged from today’s protests are unacceptable and have nothing to do with the real work we are doing to tackle political, economic and social inequality.

‘I recognise the frustrations with the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

‘I have major concerns about the Bill myself, which is poorly thought-out and could impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to peaceful protest.

‘It also misses as much as it includes, such as measures that could reduce violence against women and girls. We will raise our concerns.

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window as police officers inside barricade the way , in Bristol, Sunday

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window as police officers inside barricade the way , in Bristol, Sunday

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window as police officers inside barricade the way , in Bristol, Sunday

Protester smashes a Bridewell Police Station window as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Protester smashes a Bridewell Police Station window as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Protester smashes a Bridewell Police Station window as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government’s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Police officers inside Bridewell Police Station recording protesters on the roof outside

Police officers inside Bridewell Police Station recording protesters on the roof outside

Police officers inside Bridewell Police Station recording protesters on the roof outside

 

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, Sunday

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, Sunday

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol, Sunday

Protestor uses a skateboard to protect himself from a police officer\'s baton in Bristol during a confrontation Sunday

Protestor uses a skateboard to protect himself from a police officer\'s baton in Bristol during a confrontation Sunday

Protestor uses a skateboard to protect himself from a police officer’s baton in Bristol during a confrontation Sunday 

‘We have faced times of great confrontation, particularly surrounding Black Lives Matter and the events that followed. We have had numerous protests.

‘Our police, city representatives and I have been able to point out with pride that we have faced these moments of conflict without the physical conflict that others have experienced.

‘Those who decided to turn today’s protest into a physical confrontation and smash our city have robbed us of this.

‘What they have done has more to do with self-gratification than it has to do with the protection and advancement of those of us from communities most likely to be marginalised and mistreated by our political and legal systems.’

Thangam Debbonaire, Labour MP for Bristol West and shadow secretary of state for housing, said: ‘This is absolutely unacceptable.

‘The scenes of violence and direct attack on the police in Bristol city centre will distress most people including anyone who believes in defending the right to peaceful democratic protest.’ 

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘This is not about protecting the right to protest, it’s violent criminality from a hardcore minority who will hijack any situation for their own aims.

‘My colleagues, some of whom are now in hospital, face the brunt of that hatred. Thoughts remain with my colleagues.’ 

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police tweeted: ‘Officers have had projectiles thrown at them, including a firework, and have been verbally abused. This is unacceptable behaviour and those responsible for offences will be identified and brought to justice.’

Demonstrators throw objects from the top of\u00A0Bridewell Police Station in Bristol\u00A0 which has been defaced during the protest

Demonstrators throw objects from the top of\u00A0Bridewell Police Station in Bristol\u00A0 which has been defaced during the protest

Demonstrators throw objects from the top of Bridewell Police Station in Bristol  which has been defaced during the protest

A close up of protesters on the roof of Bridewell Police Station as police watch from inside

A close up of protesters on the roof of Bridewell Police Station as police watch from inside

A close up of protesters on the roof of Bridewell Police Station as police watch from inside

Demonstrators graffiti a police shield during the Bristol protest against a new proposed policing bill

Demonstrators graffiti a police shield during the Bristol protest against a new proposed policing bill

Demonstrators graffiti a police shield during the Bristol protest against a new proposed policing bill

Protestors attack a police van which is then set on fire as police clash with protesters outside Bridewell Police Station

Protestors attack a police van which is then set on fire as police clash with protesters outside Bridewell Police Station

Protestors attack a police van which is then set on fire as police clash with protesters outside Bridewell Police Station

Demonstrators stand near a police vehicle which has been defaced, during the protest against a proposed policing bill

Demonstrators stand near a police vehicle which has been defaced, during the protest against a proposed policing bill

Demonstrators stand near a police vehicle which has been defaced, during the protest against a proposed policing bill

Mr Roebuck later told the BBC: ‘This is the worst violence in Bristol for many, many years. It’s really unprecedented violence. Between four and six or possibly more officers are seriously injured and some have broken bones. No one had any indication it would erupt this way.’

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, introduced to the Commons this month, would give officers in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance.

Those convicted under the proposed legislation could face a fine or jail. The Bristol protesters were carrying signs reading ‘say no to UK police state’ and ‘freedom to protest is fundamental’.

Police had advised people not to attend the protest due to coronavirus legislation, which bans mass gatherings.

Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted Sunday evening: ‘Unacceptable scenes in Bristol tonight. Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated.

‘My thoughts this evening are with those police officers injured.’     

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters as violence continues into the evening

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters as violence continues into the evening

Riot police, with police horses and police vehicles, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters as violence continues into the evening

Riot police, with police horses behind them, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

Riot police, with police horses behind them, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

Riot police, with police horses behind them, move down Rupert Street in Bristol towards protesters

A demonstrator graffitis a police vehicle whilst another lies under the van, in Bristol Sunday

A demonstrator graffitis a police vehicle whilst another lies under the van, in Bristol Sunday

A demonstrator graffitis a police vehicle whilst another lies under the van, in Bristol Sunday

Police officers with police dogs face protesters outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest

Police officers with police dogs face protesters outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest

Police officers with police dogs face protesters outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest

Hundreds gathered in Bristol city centre to demonstrate against a controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance.   

The demonstration, which begun on College Green, turned violent after protesters set a police van alight and threw fireworks and ‘projectiles’ towards officers. 

Police donned riot gear and brought in dogs and horses to control the growing crowds as tensions rose into the evening.

The ‘mob’ then gathered around Bridewell Police Station where protesters were filmed smashing through the building’s windows with a baton and rocks. Police were seen protecting the station from the inside whilst filming perpetrators.

Those convicted under the proposed legislation could face a fine or jail. Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined. 

Protesters carried placards with slogans such as ‘The Day Democracy Became Dictatorship’ and ‘We Can’t Be Silenced That Easy’.  

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police tweeted: ‘Officers have had projectiles thrown at them, including a firework, and have been verbally abused. This is unacceptable behaviour and those responsible for offences will be identified and brought to justice.’ 

Avon and Somerset Police had urged people not to attend the demonstration – warning that enforcement action could be taken. 

The government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, currently going through parliament, would give police new powers to impose time and noise limits on street protests.

That has angered activists, particularly since a heavy-handed police response to a London vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard on March 13 caused widespread outrage and criticism of the police. 

Demonstrators launch fireworks at police officers during the protest in Bristol, with footage showing some protesters fleeing to safety

Demonstrators launch fireworks at police officers during the protest in Bristol, with footage showing some protesters fleeing to safety

Demonstrators launch fireworks at police officers during the protest in Bristol, with footage showing some protesters fleeing to safety

Fireworks are launched as police officers with dogs arrive to the protest in\u00A0Bristol city centre

Fireworks are launched as police officers with dogs arrive to the protest in\u00A0Bristol city centre

Fireworks are launched as police officers with dogs arrive to the protest in Bristol city centre

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station\'s smashed windows during the Bristol protest as officers protect the building

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station\'s smashed windows during the Bristol protest as officers protect the building

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station’s smashed windows during the Bristol protest as officers protect the building

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators stand in front of a police station during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Protesters set fire to a vandalised police van outside Bridewell Police Station

Protesters set fire to a vandalised police van outside Bridewell Police Station

Protesters set fire to a vandalised police van outside Bridewell Police Station

The man suspected of Everard’s murder is a police officer, and the case has unleashed an outpouring of grief and rage over the issue of violence against women and girls.

The government bill pre-dated the Everard case and covers a wide range of policy areas as well as the policing of protests. However, the two became connected in many people’s minds because, by coincidence, the bill was up for debate in parliament two days after the London vigil.  

Footage taken in Bristol city centre showed the moment protesters almost overturned a police van they had defaced with graffiti, before officers in riot gear pushed them back with batons.  

Earlier today a spokesman for the force said: ‘Officers are engaging with a number of people who’ve turned up at the protest. We’d like to thank those who’ve agreed to leave for their understanding of why it’s still important to follow Covid-19 restrictions and protect all our communities from this virus.’

A separate event for Reclaim the Streets – who are protesting violence against women in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death in London – took place in Newcastle.

Pictures show a large group gathering and a female protester being pinned to the ground by four police officers.  

She was told to move and when she refused, police responded by taking her to the floor, where she was handcuffed before being put in a van.

In a video shot at the scene close to Grey’s Monument in the city, the woman is visibly distressed and screaming as she is bundled into the back of the police vehicle.    

It is understood the woman was standing on her own when she was approached by the police more than an hour before it was set to start.

It also comes after dozens of people were arrested last night as police attempted to halt thousands of anti-lockdown protesters marching through the centre of London. 

The protests come after Home Secretary Priti Patel defended the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament earlier this week. 

Demonstrators attempt to push over a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators attempt to push over a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

Demonstrators attempt to push over a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance

People take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill, today

People take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill, today

People take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government’s controversial Police and Crime Bill, today

Protesters film as they speak to police in riot gear outside\u00A0Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this afternoon

Protesters film as they speak to police in riot gear outside\u00A0Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this afternoon

Protesters film as they speak to police in riot gear outside Bridewell Police Station in Bristol this afternoon

Demonstrators climb a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, today

Demonstrators climb a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, today

Demonstrators climb a police van as they take part in a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, today

A police officer uses pepper spray during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, this afternoon

A police officer uses pepper spray during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, this afternoon

A police officer uses pepper spray during a protest against a new proposed policing bill, in Bristol, this afternoon

Police horses are deployed as they hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station at the \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police horses are deployed as they hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station at the \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police horses are deployed as they hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station at the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

A police officer holding a camera tries to detain a demonstrator during the Bristol protest this afternoon

A police officer holding a camera tries to detain a demonstrator during the Bristol protest this afternoon

A police officer holding a camera tries to detain a demonstrator during the Bristol protest this afternoon

People gather in front of Bridewell Police Station, Bristol

People gather in front of Bridewell Police Station, Bristol

The protest is taking place on College Green in Bristol city centre, where hundreds of people had gathered - despite lockdown laws being in place

The protest is taking place on College Green in Bristol city centre, where hundreds of people had gathered - despite lockdown laws being in place

The protest is taking place on College Green in Bristol city centre, where hundreds of people had gathered – despite lockdown laws being in place

Police officers arrest a female protester near the Monument in Newcastle city centre this afternoon as Northumbria Police take pre-emptive measures after the force became aware of a \'Reclaim the Streets\' protest that took place at 2pm today

Police officers arrest a female protester near the Monument in Newcastle city centre this afternoon as Northumbria Police take pre-emptive measures after the force became aware of a \'Reclaim the Streets\' protest that took place at 2pm today

Police officers arrest a female protester near the Monument in Newcastle city centre this afternoon as Northumbria Police take pre-emptive measures after the force became aware of a ‘Reclaim the Streets’ protest that took place at 2pm today

Hundreds of people gather in Newcastle city centre this afternoon to join a Reclaim These Streets protest in response to the death of Sarah Everard, in spite of Northumbria Police deploying dozens of officers to stop protests taking place

Hundreds of people gather in Newcastle city centre this afternoon to join a Reclaim These Streets protest in response to the death of Sarah Everard, in spite of Northumbria Police deploying dozens of officers to stop protests taking place

Hundreds of people gather in Newcastle city centre this afternoon to join a Reclaim These Streets protest in response to the death of Sarah Everard, in spite of Northumbria Police deploying dozens of officers to stop protests taking place

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bristol for a demonstration against plans to give the police more powers to deal with non-violent protests

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bristol for a demonstration against plans to give the police more powers to deal with non-violent protests

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bristol for a demonstration against plans to give the police more powers to deal with non-violent protests

Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined

Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined

Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined

Thousands descended on the streets of Bristol exercising their right to protest and holding signs reading \'kill the bill\'

Thousands descended on the streets of Bristol exercising their right to protest and holding signs reading \'kill the bill\'

Thousands descended on the streets of Bristol exercising their right to protest and holding signs reading ‘kill the bill’

Many were wearing face masks and carried placards saying: \'Say no to UK police state\', \'Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy\' and \'Kill the Bill\', in Bristol

Many were wearing face masks and carried placards saying: \'Say no to UK police state\', \'Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy\' and \'Kill the Bill\', in Bristol

Many were wearing face masks and carried placards saying: ‘Say no to UK police state’, ‘Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy’ and ‘Kill the Bill’, in Bristol

\'Kill the bill\' is written on the road as thousands of protesters march the streets surrounding\u00A0College Green in Bristol today

\'Kill the bill\' is written on the road as thousands of protesters march the streets surrounding\u00A0College Green in Bristol today

‘Kill the bill’ is written on the road as thousands of protesters march the streets surrounding College Green in Bristol today

Avon and Somerset Police had urged people not to attend the demonstration - warning that enforcement action could be taken

Avon and Somerset Police had urged people not to attend the demonstration - warning that enforcement action could be taken

Avon and Somerset Police had urged people not to attend the demonstration – warning that enforcement action could be taken

A police spokesperson said:\u00A0\'We\'d like to thank those who\'ve agreed to leave for their understanding of why it\'s still important to follow Covid-19 restrictions and protect all our communities from this virus

A police spokesperson said:\u00A0\'We\'d like to thank those who\'ve agreed to leave for their understanding of why it\'s still important to follow Covid-19 restrictions and protect all our communities from this virus

A police spokesperson said: ‘We’d like to thank those who’ve agreed to leave for their understanding of why it’s still important to follow Covid-19 restrictions and protect all our communities from this virus

A separate event for Reclaim the Streets - who are protesting violence against women in the wake of Sarah Everard\'s death - is taking place in Newcastle

A separate event for Reclaim the Streets - who are protesting violence against women in the wake of Sarah Everard\'s death - is taking place in Newcastle

A separate event for Reclaim the Streets – who are protesting violence against women in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death – is taking place in Newcastle

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

The bill will see new powers given to the police and Home Secretary to deal with protests that are deemed to have caused \'serious unease, alarm or distress\'

The bill will see new powers given to the police and Home Secretary to deal with protests that are deemed to have caused \'serious unease, alarm or distress\'

The bill will see new powers given to the police and Home Secretary to deal with protests that are deemed to have caused ‘serious unease, alarm or distress’

The bill will also raise the maximum sentence for defacing statues to 10 years, while new measures are also expected to crack down on knife crime

The bill will also raise the maximum sentence for defacing statues to 10 years, while new measures are also expected to crack down on knife crime

It has garnered controversy, particularly after Met Police officers were seen restraining women attending a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common last month

It has garnered controversy, particularly after Met Police officers were seen restraining women attending a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common last month

The bill will also raise the maximum sentence for defacing statues to 10 years, while new measures are also expected to crack down on knife crime. It has garnered controversy, particularly after Met Police officers were seen restraining women attending a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common last month

The bill will mean that home secretaries will be able to create laws to define what \'serious disruption,\' to communities and organisations means

The bill will mean that home secretaries will be able to create laws to define what \'serious disruption,\' to communities and organisations means

The bill will mean that home secretaries will be able to create laws to define what ‘serious disruption,’ to communities and organisations means

The bill passed its second reading earlier this week, despite Labour voting against it. MPs voted 359 to 263, a majority of 96, at second reading, the first significant Commons test of a bill

The bill passed its second reading earlier this week, despite Labour voting against it. MPs voted 359 to 263, a majority of 96, at second reading, the first significant Commons test of a bill

The bill passed its second reading earlier this week, despite Labour voting against it. MPs voted 359 to 263, a majority of 96, at second reading, the first significant Commons test of a bill

However MPs including Theresa May raised concerns over the impact it will have on freedom of speech. 

The bill will see new powers given to the police and Home Secretary to deal with protests that are deemed to have caused ‘serious unease, alarm or distress’.

It will also raise the maximum sentence for defacing statues to 10 years, while new measures are also expected to crack down on knife crime. 

The bill has garnered controversy, particularly after Met Police officers were seen restraining women attending a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common last month.

The bill will mean that home secretaries will be able to create laws to define what ‘serious disruption,’ to communities and organisations means. 

Speaking at the debate, on Monday night Ms Patel said peaceful protest was a ‘cornerstone of democracy,’ before adding: ‘The current legislation police use to manage protests, the Public Order Act 1986, was enacted over 30 years ago.  

‘In recent years we’ve seen significant change in protest tactics, with protesters exploiting gaps in the law which have led to disproportionate amounts of disruption.

Ms Patel said: ‘Last year we saw XR (Extinction Rebellion) block the passage of an ambulance on emergency calls, gluing themselves to trains during rush hour, blocking airport runways, preventing hundreds of hard-working people from going to work.’ 

Ms Patel said peaceful protest was a \'cornerstone of democracy\'. Here protesters climb onto the roof of a cafe in Bristol

Ms Patel said peaceful protest was a \'cornerstone of democracy\'. Here protesters climb onto the roof of a cafe in Bristol

Ms Patel said peaceful protest was a ‘cornerstone of democracy’. Here protesters climb onto the roof of a cafe in Bristol

People sit down in front of Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

People sit down in front of Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

People sit down in front of Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

Crowds, some masked, gather on Bristol\'s streets to protest the\u00A0Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Crowds, some masked, gather on Bristol\'s streets to protest the\u00A0Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Crowds, some masked, gather on Bristol’s streets to protest the Government’s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government\'s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol, demonstrating against the Government’s controversial Police and Crime Bill

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a \'Kill the Bill\' protest in Bristol

Police hold back people outside Bridewell Police Station as they take part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

However, former prime minister Theresa May argued: ‘Freedom of speech is an important right in our democracy, however annoying or uncomfortable sometimes that might be and I know there will be people who will have seen scenes of protest and will have said, ‘why isn’t the Government doing something?’, to which the answer in many cases may simply be because we live in a democratic, free society.’

Ms May added: ‘It’s tempting with the Home Secretary to think that giving powers to the Home Secretary is very reasonable because we all think we’re reasonable, but actually future home secretaries may not be so reasonable and I wonder if the Government would be willing to publish a draft of those regulations during passage of the Bill so we can actually see what that is going to be and make sure that it is not also encroaching on the operational decisions of the police.

‘So there are very important elements of this Bill, but I would urge the Government to consider carefully the need to walk a fine line between being popular and populist. Our freedoms depend on it.’

The bill passed its second reading earlier this week, despite Labour voting against it.

MPs voted 359 to 263, a majority of 96, at second reading, the first significant Commons test of a bill. 

As the bill was voted through, protesters had gathered outside the Palace of Westminster to rally against both the legislation and also the police.

But it has been reported by Cambridgeshire Live that it has since been delayed.

According to the Labour MP Victims and Youth Justice Shadow Minister Peter Kyle, the bill committee has been ‘pulled’ and ‘won’t start until later in the year’.

Priti Patel defended new powers that would be given to police and the Home Secretary to curb protesters, should the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill be approved on Tuesday

Priti Patel defended new powers that would be given to police and the Home Secretary to curb protesters, should the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill be approved on Tuesday

Priti Patel defended new powers that would be given to police and the Home Secretary to curb protesters, should the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill be approved on Tuesday

Politicians, including former prime minister Theresa May, have raised concerns with the bill, following Met Police\'s handling of a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common on Saturday

Politicians, including former prime minister Theresa May, have raised concerns with the bill, following Met Police\'s handling of a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common on Saturday

Politicians, including former prime minister Theresa May, have raised concerns with the bill, following Met Police’s handling of a vigil in memory of Sarah Everard in Clapham Common on Saturday

The Policing Bill was part of the Conservative 2019 manifesto but elements raised eyebrows from MPs on the party’s libertarian wing.

The draft legislation includes an offence of ‘intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance’, and someone will be judged to have committed this crime if they cause ‘serious harm to the public’, which can include ‘serious annoyance, serious inconvenience or serious loss of amenity’, with those convicted potentially facing a fine or jail.

The ‘serious annoyance’ element of the criteria has prompted a furious backlash from critics who warn the laws could pose a threat to free speech rights and the right to protest.

Labour voted against the bill, and shortly after the vote Sir Keir Starmer railed against it in a Twitter video, branding the Government’s priorities ‘completely wrong’.

He said: ‘The Conservatives have just voted for legislation to increase prison sentences for those damaging statues. But does nothing to address violence towards women and girls.’

A spokesperson for the Home Office told MailOnline that people should not currently be protesting due to lockdown laws. Blanket restrictions on protesting are due to be lifted later this month.

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