Hundreds gather for protest against increased police powers

Hundreds of people have gathered in Bristol to demonstrate against plans to give police more powers to deal with nonviolent protests.

The Police, Crime, Conviction and Courts Act would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too loud or disruptive.

Those convicted under the proposed law could face a fine or prison.

The protest took place on College Green in Bristol city center, where hundreds of people had gathered.

People take part in a protest in Bristol against “Kill the Bill” which is demonstrating against the government’s controversial law on police and crime. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus law, and anyone who breaks the rules can be fined.

Many wore face masks and carried placards saying, “Say No to the British Police State,” “Freedom to Protest is Fundamental to Democracy,” and “Kill the Bill”.

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

A spokesman for the force said: “The officers are working with a number of people who showed up at the protest.

Hundreds gather for protest against increased police powers 1

People take part in a protest in Bristol against “Kill the Bill” which is demonstrating against the government’s controversial law on police and crime. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.

“We would like to thank those who have agreed to leave to understand why it is still important to comply with Covid-19 restrictions and keep all of our communities safe from this virus.

“The protest has moved to Park Street and the fountains, so we ask people to avoid this area due to possible traffic disruptions.

“The officers continue to work with the participants. Enforcement measures will be taken retrospectively when necessary and proportionate. “

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