Protesters smash police windows and attack officers’ van amid ‘Kill the Bill’ march in Bristol

Hundreds have gathered in Bristol city centre where a police station is said to be ‘under siege’ as protestors smash through the building’s windows, set police vans alight and direct fireworks at the riot police.  

The protest against restrictions on non-violent protest began at College Green in Bristol city centre this afternoon but has since moved to centre around Bridewell Police Station where protestors have smashed the station’s windows and defaced its walls.

Tensions began to rise this evening in the city centre as police donned riot gear with police dogs and horses brought in to control the growing crowds. 

Protestors gathered 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. 

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.

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

Scroll down for video. 

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

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

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window, in Bristol, this evening

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window, in Bristol, this evening

Protester kicks a smashed Bridewell Police Station window, in Bristol, this evening

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 protestors on the roof of\u00A0Bridewell Police Station, which is currently being defaced by protestors

A close up of protestors on the roof of\u00A0Bridewell Police Station, which is currently being defaced by protestors

A close up of protestors on the roof of Bridewell Police Station, which is currently being defaced by protestors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Another video appears to show police using riot shields to kettle protestors into a smaller cordoned area. 

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.

‘The protest has moved into Park Street and the fountains so we’re asking people to avoid this area due to the potential disruption to traffic.

‘Officers are continuing to engage with those attending. Enforcement action will be taken retrospectively when necessary and proportionate.’   

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

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

Demonstrators launch fireworks at police officers during the protest in Bristol, with footage showing some protestors 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

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

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

Meanwhile, a woman was arrested in Newcastle while protesting as part of a Reclaim These Streets march. 

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

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

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

Protestors 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 protestors march the streets surrounding\u00A0College Green in Bristol today

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

‘Kill the bill’ is written on the road as thousands of protestors 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 protestors climb onto the roof of a cafe in Bristol

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

Ms Patel said peaceful protest was a ‘cornerstone of democracy’. Here protestors 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 tonight 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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