Ten police officers hurt in clashes at Kill the Bill protest in London and 26 are arrested

Ten police officers have been hurt during clashes at the Kill the Bill protest in London today with 26 people arrested after Jeremy Corbyn addressed thousands of activists in defiance of coronavirus regulations. 

Protestors chanted, banged drums and waved placards at the demo to rail against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will impose certain conditions on future protests.

The Metropolitan Police has confirmed that 10 officers received injuries, none of which are believed to be serious, and 26 people were arrested including a woman with a knife.

There appeared to be over 10,000 people at the rally, which was held in a crowded Parliament Square. For comparison, nearby Trafalgar Square is able to hold 20,000 people when full. 

A small group of around 50-100 protesters in London began to block roads around Parliament Square and chanted anti-police slogans including ‘All Cops Are B******s’. 

The former Labour leader stood next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as he spoke at the rally, describing the Government-proposed bill as a ‘very dangerous, slippery slope’ and defending the right to protest. 

He said: ‘If we don’t protest, things don’t change’, which drew cheers and applause from onlookers. Close by, anti-lockdown demonstrators staged their own protest, supported by Mr Corbyn’s brother, Piers. 

Dozens of extra officers were brought in outside Parliament to help unblock the road for a McDonald’s lorry which became a target for the crowd, who whistled and booed as they stopped the driver from passing.

Bottles and missiles were thrown as police with riot helmets fired pepper spray and held batons aloft, screaming for the crowd to ‘get back’. A man was carried away by officers.

Police were also seen taking away a young woman crying out in pain following clashes at the demo, which began after people marched to Trafalgar Square, with her friends saying she had sustained an injury to her shoulder. 

A separate group in Parliament Square was seen demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including ‘educate your sons’ and ‘misogyny is the virus’, chanting ‘women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care’. 

By this evening, the Metropolitan Police said ‘a small minority’ of protestors, who were not social distancing, were still in the square and that arrests were being made after they turned down requests to leave.

The majority of protesters from the demonstration, who gathered earlier in the day, had dispersed several hours earlier but those still present shouted ‘shame on you’ repeatedly at officers.

Three Kill the Bill protestors unfurled a banner which read ‘Kill Cops’ and held aloft the incendiary message outside the Houses of Parliament – just 50 metres away from where PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death in 2017.

The ‘national weekend of action’ has spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester. 

In Norwich, Kill The Bill graffiti was daubed on a city centre war memorial while protestors in Manchester blocked tram tracks in St Peter’s Square prompting police to move in and make arrests just after 5.30pm. 

Meanwhile, Avon and Somerset Police said that part of the M32 motorway has been closed to traffic tonight after protesters sat on the road.

The force tweeted this evening: ‘The group have marched onto the M32 and are currently sat on the carriageway. The motorway has subsequently been closed to inbound traffic at Junction 3 in the interests of safety.’

Protesting is now legal in England following a change in Covid-19 lockdown rules which came into force on Monday, but organisers are required to submit risk assessments and ensure social distancing.

The rallies come as Covid deaths fall to their lowest in six months with the UK recording 10 fatalities, bringing the total to 126,826, and another 3,423 new infections. 

A woman can be seen holding what appears to be a sharpened piece of wood during the Kill the Bill protest in central London

A woman can be seen holding what appears to be a sharpened piece of wood during the Kill the Bill protest in central London

A woman can be seen holding what appears to be a sharpened piece of wood during the Kill the Bill protest in central London

A police officer fires pepper spray as scuffles erupt between Kill the Bill protestors and police in Parliament Square today

A police officer fires pepper spray as scuffles erupt between Kill the Bill protestors and police in Parliament Square today

A police officer fires pepper spray as scuffles erupt between Kill the Bill protestors and police in Parliament Square today

protestors take part in a demonstration by Hyde Park against the Government's proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

protestors take part in a demonstration by Hyde Park against the Government's proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

protestors take part in a demonstration by Hyde Park against the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 

Protestors and police officers pictured in Parliament Square, central London, during today's Kill the Bill protest. Projectiles were thrown as police pushed protesters away and at least one officer was injured in the scuffle

Protestors and police officers pictured in Parliament Square, central London, during today's Kill the Bill protest. Projectiles were thrown as police pushed protesters away and at least one officer was injured in the scuffle

Protestors and police officers pictured in Parliament Square, central London, during today’s Kill the Bill protest. Projectiles were thrown as police pushed protesters away and at least one officer was injured in the scuffle

A woman is detained by police during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London. The demonstration is against the Government-proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

A woman is detained by police during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London. The demonstration is against the Government-proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

A woman is detained by police during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central London. The demonstration is against the Government-proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Police officers are seen restraining a demonstrator during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London this afternoon

Police officers are seen restraining a demonstrator during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London this afternoon

Police officers are seen restraining a demonstrator during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central London this afternoon

Police scuffle with a crowd of protestors during a Kill the Bill protest near Parliament Square in central London this afternoon

Police scuffle with a crowd of protestors during a Kill the Bill protest near Parliament Square in central London this afternoon

Police scuffle with a crowd of protestors during a Kill the Bill protest near Parliament Square in central London this afternoon

A demonstrator is seen holding a red smoke flare at the 'Kill the Bill' protest n London with the Houses of Parliament seen in the background

A demonstrator is seen holding a red smoke flare at the 'Kill the Bill' protest n London with the Houses of Parliament seen in the background

A demonstrator is seen holding a red smoke flare at the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest n London with the Houses of Parliament seen in the background

Demonstrators use street barriers to block a road during a 'Kill the Bill protest in central London on Saturday

Demonstrators use street barriers to block a road during a 'Kill the Bill protest in central London on Saturday

Demonstrators use street barriers to block a road during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central London on Saturday

Demonstrators knock over bins and traffic cones as they use street furniture to block a road during the protest in London

Demonstrators knock over bins and traffic cones as they use street furniture to block a road during the protest in London

Demonstrators knock over bins and traffic cones as they use street furniture to block a road during the protest in London

Police officers surround demonstrators lying on the road as they take part in the protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on peaceful protests

Police officers surround demonstrators lying on the road as they take part in the protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on peaceful protests

Police officers surround demonstrators lying on the road as they take part in the protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on peaceful protests

Police confront protestors with a bus seen in the background during a Kill the Bill demonstration on Saturday in London

Police confront protestors with a bus seen in the background during a Kill the Bill demonstration on Saturday in London

Police confront protestors with a bus seen in the background during a Kill the Bill demonstration on Saturday in London

Police officers hold back demonstrators near Trafalgar Square in central London as they detain one during the protest

Police officers hold back demonstrators near Trafalgar Square in central London as they detain one during the protest

Police officers hold back demonstrators near Trafalgar Square in central London as they detain one during the protest

A protestor blocking a road is detained by police during the 'Kill the Bill' protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. People gathered at Hyde Park before marching towards Parliament Square

A protestor blocking a road is detained by police during the 'Kill the Bill' protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. People gathered at Hyde Park before marching towards Parliament Square

A protestor blocking a road is detained by police during the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. People gathered at Hyde Park before marching towards Parliament Square

A policeman holding a baton faces demonstrators during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London

A policeman holding a baton faces demonstrators during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London

A policeman holding a baton faces demonstrators during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London

The former leader of the Labour Party addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a 'very dangerous, slippery slope' and defended the right to protest

The former leader of the Labour Party addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a 'very dangerous, slippery slope' and defended the right to protest

The former leader of the Labour Party addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a ‘very dangerous, slippery slope’ and defended the right to protest

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London. The proposed legislation covers a wide range of issues and would broaden the police's authority for regulating protests

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London. The proposed legislation covers a wide range of issues and would broaden the police's authority for regulating protests

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central London. The proposed legislation covers a wide range of issues and would broaden the police’s authority for regulating protests

Demonstrators walk on a motorway during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol this evening. Avon and Somerset Police said that part of the M32 motorway has been closed to traffic

Demonstrators walk on a motorway during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol this evening. Avon and Somerset Police said that part of the M32 motorway has been closed to traffic

Demonstrators walk on a motorway during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol this evening. Avon and Somerset Police said that part of the M32 motorway has been closed to traffic 

Police form a cordon as demonstrators sit in a main road during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol, south-west England

Police form a cordon as demonstrators sit in a main road during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol, south-west England

Police form a cordon as demonstrators sit in a main road during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol, south-west England

A protestor uses a megaphone during a Kill the Bill protest on Newfoundland Road leading to the M32 on Saturday in Bristol

A protestor uses a megaphone during a Kill the Bill protest on Newfoundland Road leading to the M32 on Saturday in Bristol

A protestor uses a megaphone during a Kill the Bill protest on Newfoundland Road leading to the M32 on Saturday in Bristol

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators block a motorway during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol on Saturday night

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators block a motorway during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol on Saturday night

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators block a motorway during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol on Saturday night

Demonstrators walk on a motorway as police officers stand guard nearby during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol this evening

Demonstrators walk on a motorway as police officers stand guard nearby during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol this evening

Demonstrators walk on a motorway as police officers stand guard nearby during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol this evening

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators sit down and block a motorway at a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators sit down and block a motorway at a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

Police officers stand guard as demonstrators sit down and block a motorway at a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

A crowd of demonstrators are seen marching at a 'Kill the Bill protest in Bristol, south west England, on Saturday evening

A crowd of demonstrators are seen marching at a 'Kill the Bill protest in Bristol, south west England, on Saturday evening

A crowd of demonstrators are seen marching at a ‘Kill the Bill protest in Bristol, south west England, on Saturday evening

Police form a cordon as darkness falls and demonstrators march on a main road during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

Police form a cordon as darkness falls and demonstrators march on a main road during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

Police form a cordon as darkness falls and demonstrators march on a main road during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

Protestors march down the A4 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, the south-west of England

Protestors march down the A4 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, the south-west of England

Protestors march down the A4 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, the south-west of England

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 into the town centre in Bristol during a protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 into the town centre in Bristol during a protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 into the town centre in Bristol during a protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

A van driver clashes with a protestor on the A4044 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, south west England

A van driver clashes with a protestor on the A4044 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, south west England

A van driver clashes with a protestor on the A4044 during a Kill the Bill protest on Saturday evening in Bristol, south west England

A masked demonstrator holds a placard on top of a sign post as darkness falls during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

A masked demonstrator holds a placard on top of a sign post as darkness falls during a 'Kill the Bill' protest in Bristol

A masked demonstrator holds a placard on top of a sign post as darkness falls during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in Bristol

People dance as they gather for a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol earlier this evening

People dance as they gather for a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol earlier this evening

People dance as they gather for a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Bristol earlier this evening

Crowds seen posing for the camera while drinking beer and dancing at a 'Kill the Bill' demonstration in Bristol, south-west England

Crowds seen posing for the camera while drinking beer and dancing at a 'Kill the Bill' demonstration in Bristol, south-west England

Crowds seen posing for the camera while drinking beer and dancing at a ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration in Bristol, south-west England

In a statement, the Met Police said tonight: ‘At this stage, 26 people have been arrested for a variety of offences including assault on police and breach of the peace. In one instance, a woman was arrested on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon after a knife was recovered. 

‘The policing operation remains ongoing and this arrest total is likely to rise. Ten officers received injuries during the operation; none of these are believed to be serious.’

Commander Ade Adelekan, who led today’s policing operation, said: ‘The vast majority of people who turned out in central London today did so while adhering to social distancing. They engaged with my officers when required and left when asked – I would like to thank them for doing so.

‘However, a small minority did not engage despite the repeated efforts of officers on the ground. This left us with no option but to move to an enforcement stage and arrests have been made.

‘This has been another challenging day for officers on the ground and I want to thank them for their efforts throughout the course of today.

‘We remain in the middle of a global pandemic and we have made great progress in controlling the spread of the virus; we will not allow the selfish actions of a small number of people to put Londoners progress in jeopardy.’ 

Liaison officers attempted to engage with them to move them along peacefully but they refused to cooperate.

Eventually the group moved on to the New Scotland Yard, the Metropolitan Police headquarters, where they continued with their anti-police rhetoric. 

Tensions are running high following the arrest of serving Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens for the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard and Met probationer Benjamin Hannam being convicted last week of belonging to a Neo-Nazi organisation.

Officers ringed the Winston Churchill statue and the Cenotaph – targets at previous protests – as crowds marched down from the meeting point in Hyde Park to Westminster.

Lorries trying to drive past the Houses of Parliament were blocked by crowds. One truck delivering flowers was forced to turn round and head back the opposite direction. 

One weeping female protester in Manchester was held against a police van, with protestors chanting ‘Kill the Bill’ as they blocked leaving trams. 

Police officers form a cordon to free a delivery truck being stopped by demonstrators during the protest in central London

Police officers form a cordon to free a delivery truck being stopped by demonstrators during the protest in central London

Police officers form a cordon to free a delivery truck being stopped by demonstrators during the protest in central London 

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the protest in London. Dozens of extra officers were brought in outside Parliament to help unblock the road

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the protest in London. Dozens of extra officers were brought in outside Parliament to help unblock the road

Protestors stop a delivery truck during the protest in London. Dozens of extra officers were brought in outside Parliament to help unblock the road

Police intervene as protestors attempt to stop a delivery truck during the 'Kill the Bill' protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Police intervene as protestors attempt to stop a delivery truck during the 'Kill the Bill' protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Police intervene as protestors attempt to stop a delivery truck during the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest held in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

Protestors stop a delivery truck at the rally. Protesting is now legal in England following a change in Covid-19 lockdown rules which came into force on Monday, but organisers are required to submit risk assessments and ensure social distancing

Protestors stop a delivery truck at the rally. Protesting is now legal in England following a change in Covid-19 lockdown rules which came into force on Monday, but organisers are required to submit risk assessments and ensure social distancing

Protestors stop a delivery truck at the rally. Protesting is now legal in England following a change in Covid-19 lockdown rules which came into force on Monday, but organisers are required to submit risk assessments and ensure social distancing

A protestor appears injured as police intervene during the 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London, where demonstrators gathered at Hyde Park and marched towards Parliament Square

A protestor appears injured as police intervene during the 'Kill the Bill' protest in central London, where demonstrators gathered at Hyde Park and marched towards Parliament Square

A protestor appears injured as police intervene during the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central London, where demonstrators gathered at Hyde Park and marched towards Parliament Square

Ex-Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn standing next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as he speaks at the rally. Close by, anti-lockdown demonstrators staged their own protest, supported by Mr Corbyn's brother, Piers

Ex-Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn standing next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as he speaks at the rally. Close by, anti-lockdown demonstrators staged their own protest, supported by Mr Corbyn's brother, Piers

Ex-Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn standing next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as he speaks at the rally. Close by, anti-lockdown demonstrators staged their own protest, supported by Mr Corbyn’s brother, Piers

Extinction Rebellion's Red Rebel Brigade are seen performing at a Kill the Bill protest in Mayfair as thousands marched through central London in protest of the Government-proposed bill

Extinction Rebellion's Red Rebel Brigade are seen performing at a Kill the Bill protest in Mayfair as thousands marched through central London in protest of the Government-proposed bill

Extinction Rebellion’s Red Rebel Brigade are seen performing at a Kill the Bill protest in Mayfair as thousands marched through central London in protest of the Government-proposed bill

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the ‘national weekend of action’ has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

Protestors attended the demonstration in Parliament Square, central London, against the Government's proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will give police more power to shut down protests

Protestors attended the demonstration in Parliament Square, central London, against the Government's proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will give police more power to shut down protests

Protestors attended the demonstration in Parliament Square, central London, against the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that will give police more power to shut down protests

Demonstrators sit on Baldwin Street in Bristol during a 'Kill the Bill' protest on Saturday against the Government-proposed bill

Demonstrators sit on Baldwin Street in Bristol during a 'Kill the Bill' protest on Saturday against the Government-proposed bill

Demonstrators sit on Baldwin Street in Bristol during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest on Saturday against the Government-proposed bill

Demonstrators taking part in a 'Kill the Bill' protest sit and stand in the street listening to speeches in the centre of Bristol

Demonstrators taking part in a 'Kill the Bill' protest sit and stand in the street listening to speeches in the centre of Bristol

Demonstrators taking part in a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest sit and stand in the street listening to speeches in the centre of Bristol

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a 'Kill the Bill' protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a 'Kill the Bill' protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

The 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

The ‘national weekend of action’ has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

Tram passenger Mike Horton, 43, said: ‘There were lots of police and then they jumped on a few protesters. I got a real shock as I had just come to get on tram. They were shouting at the police and filming them with their phones.’

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions. 

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join ‘kill the bill’ rallies in London and other towns and cities including Manchester, Leeds, Brighton and Bristol.

‘As protest is criminalised and our fake democracy is pushed further towards authoritarianism, we seek to find where we can come together with other movements to tackle the common causes that affect us all,’ said Alanna Byrne from environmental group Extinction Rebellion. 

Days of protests by the group paralysed parts of London in early 2019, action which helped fuel calls from some politicians for the police to be given the tougher powers to prevent excessive disruption. 

Another demonstrator, Mark Duncan, added: ‘The government are trying to curtail protests – especially BLM and XR – that is what this bill is all about. We want the clauses in this bill about protests quashed.’  

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including 'educate your sons' and 'misogyny is the virus'

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including 'educate your sons' and 'misogyny is the virus'

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including ‘educate your sons’ and ‘misogyny is the virus’ 

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade - often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations - have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade - often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations - have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade – often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations – have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the 'national weekend of action' that has spread around the country

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the 'national weekend of action' that has spread around the country

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the ‘national weekend of action’ that has spread around the country

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government’s proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

The Metropolitan Police have since said: 'The majority of people at today's events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation'

The Metropolitan Police have since said: 'The majority of people at today's events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation'

The Metropolitan Police have since said: ‘The majority of people at today’s events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation’

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this 'national weekend of action' as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this 'national weekend of action' as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this ‘national weekend of action’ as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

There have been a number of 'Kill The Bill' protests held to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today

There have been a number of 'Kill The Bill' protests held to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today

There have been a number of ‘Kill The Bill’ protests held to show opposition to the Government’s proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today 

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted 'women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care'

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted 'women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care'

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted ‘women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care’

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join 'kill the bill' rallies in London (pictured)

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join 'kill the bill' rallies in London (pictured)

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join ‘kill the bill’ rallies in London (pictured)

Organisers reminded protestors to stay socially distanced on this ‘national weekend of action’ as they attempted to control the crowds.

The Metropolitan Police have since said: ‘The majority of people at today’s events in Central London have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation.

‘A small minority are blocking the road at Parliament Square. Officers are on scene engaging and encouraging them to move so we can reopen the roads.’ 

A Met Police spokesman also told MailOnline: ‘Officers have been on the ground throughout the day engaging and encouraging those present to adhere to the current Covid legislation. There have been no arrests so far.’ 

But the ‘national weekend of action’ spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool, Brighton and Manchester.

Several hundred people gathered beneath Grey’s Monument in Newcastle for a similar Kill the Bill protest with a low-key response from Northumbria Police.

Protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill as another attendee held up a placard saying: ‘We will not be silenced.’  

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey's Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey's Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey’s Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: 'Whose streets, our streets' and 'F*** Priti Patel'

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: 'Whose streets, our streets' and 'F*** Priti Patel'

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: ‘Whose streets, our streets’ and ‘F*** Priti Patel’

The crowd has since made its way through the city centre chanting: ‘Whose streets, our streets’ and ‘F*** Priti Patel’.

Can protests take place in England under Covid rules?

Britons are permitted to gather in groups larger than six for the purpose of ‘Covid-secure protests’ under updated lockdown rules.

The guidance had previously outlawed any large gatherings, meaning the previous three Bristol rallies weren’t permitted under Covid restrictions.

However, an update which came into force on Monday allows people to gather in larger groups for protest if the organiser has ‘taken the required precautions’.

This includes completing a risk assessment for the gathering. 

The updated guidance reads: ‘You may gather in larger groups… for the purpose of Covid-secure protests or picketing where the organiser has taken the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment.’ 

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Many took the knee at the Civic Centre and held a minute’s silence for victims of oppression, after which a round of applause broke out. 

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre.

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter’s Square where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: ‘All cops are b*******’ and ‘Our streets’.

The march was largely peaceful with the exception of one teenage protester jumping on top of a blue McLaren sports car before banging on the roof. He was held by police but later let go. 

The protesters then gathered on the steps of Manchester Crown Court and chanted: ‘No justice, no peace.’

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards.

Nurse Matthew Hampson, 53, had earlier told the crowd: ‘Nurses are not just angry about the proposed one per cent pay cut, they are enraged.

‘We need to protest, that is why we need to stop this Bill.’ 

The rally, watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot, took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre.

The order gives police the power to tell a person engaged in anti-social behaviour, or who is likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, to leave a specified area – but it expired at 3pm.

It was imposed following an illegal rave in the city centre as well as 18 people being arrested at last week’s Kill the Bill protest in Manchester.

Protesters had sat on tram tracks and police had to apologise after one woman’s underwear was exposed when she was dragged away.

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter's Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: 'All cops are b*******' and 'Our streets'

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter's Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: 'All cops are b*******' and 'Our streets'

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter’s Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: ‘All cops are b*******’ and ‘Our streets’

Elsewhere, around 300 protestors gathered outside Norwich City Hall as part of the country-wide demonstrations.

The protest passed off peacefully with a handful of police officers observing the event from a distance but graffiti carrying the Kill The Bill was daubed on the city’s war memorial.

The protests have been sparked by the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill would toughen measures officers can take to disperse demonstrations, such as imposing time and noise limits, which campaigners and activists fear would be used to curb dissent.

Since the bill was brought before parliament last month, there have been sporadic protests, notably in Bristol, southwest England, where demonstrations turned violent with officers and a police station bombarded with bricks and glass bottles, and police vehicles set on fire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised what he described as ‘disgraceful attacks’ on officers, but protesters have accused police of using heavy-handed tactics.   

Demonstrations had not been permitted while a coronavirus lockdown was in place, but restrictions were eased this week, meaning organised rallies can go ahead providing they are ‘COVID secure’.

In London, police warned, ‘enforcement action will be taken, if needed, in the interests of public health’.

Some senior officers have said the ‘kill the bill’ tag was deliberately provocative as ‘the bill’ is a nickname in Britain for the police. 

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