General => Politics => Topic started by: PippaJane on March 28, 2021, 04:25:23 PM

Title: Bristol protests: Violent clashes as riot police march on 'Kill the Bill' ....
Post by: PippaJane on March 28, 2021, 04:25:23 PM

Bristol protests: Violent clashes as riot police march on 'Kill the Bill' protesters

Police officers have moved against protesters in Bristol, sparking violent clashes during the city's third demonstration against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill

By Adam Aspinall & Matthew Dresch

22:39, 26 MAR 2021Updated06:18, 27 MAR 2021

Violent clashes have broken out in Bristol as police arrest demonstrators in the city.  Shocking footage showed police battering one protester with riot shields before an officer dragged him away.  Officers wearing helmets and holding shields moved towards the crowd after 10pm, after calling for the crowd to disperse.  In response, demonstrators could be heard calling for the crowd to sit down in the street in front of the police.  Riot police, backed by mounted units and police dogs pressed into the crowd with shouts of “forward”.  Some protestors responded with fury and began throwing bottles at the police lines as scuffles erupted across the crowd.  The crowd chanted “shame on you” and “f*** the police” as they were pushed back.  Journalist Georgiana Scott said officers 'charged' reporters and 'bashed' them with their shields.  Avon and Somerset Police said arrests have been made at the protest.  The force tweeted: "Projectiles, including eggs and glass bottles, are being thrown at officers.  Protestors are also pulling at officers' shields while lasers are being shone in their faces.  We will not tolerate violent disorder. Arrests have been made."

The clashes came after large crowds gathered on Bristol's College Green in the afternoon to rally against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, before setting off on a march.  As the dark drew in and rain began to fall, hundreds sat down in the street near Bridewell police station, where a police van was torched on Sunday.  Officers formed a 'ring of steel' around the city centre's Bridewell Police Station as the darkness fell after it was besieged by rioters during the first protest.  Many of the protesters held daffodils as they chanted "we're peaceful what are you?" at the police.

The crowd also shouted 'where's your broken arm' at the thin blue line, in reference to Avon and Somerset Police admitting that no officers suffered broken bones, despite its initial claims.  Other demonstrators could be heard chanting "Who do you protect?" and "Justice for Sarah".

Friday's protest was the third demonstration held in Bristol against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.  The legislation would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, with those convicted under the bill liable to fines or jail terms.  The first demonstration last Sunday began peacefully with around 3,000 attending, but descended into a riot when some 500 people marched on Bridewell police station.  Nine people have been arrested in connection with the disorder, in which officers attacked, police vehicles were set on fire and the windows of a police station smashed.  The force later retracted claims two officers suffered fractures in Sunday night's riot.  "We believed the information had been verified but it had not, and while we apologise for that there was no intention to mislead," a force spokesman said.

A second protest took place on College Green on Tuesday night and resulted in 15 arrests.