Over 100 injured
JBP points out that police injured over 100 people during the demonstration against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (now an Act) on 21 March 2021.
Police attacked protesters with batons and used their riot shields as offensive weapons, bringing them down on people’s heads. Officers also deployed pepper spray, horses and dogs against the crowd.
People fought back, smashing the windows of Bridewell police station and torching several police vehicles.
JBP calls for a public inquiry into violence
In total, Bristol Crown Court has sentenced the rebels of Bridewell to over 110 years in prison. But JBP says that no proper inquiry has taken place into the police’s actions.
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According to a press statement from JBP:
The police injured more than 100 protesters during the demonstration after indiscriminately attacking the crowd, with some people so severely hurt that they required hospital treatment. In contrast, the police claims that their officers sustained injuries during the protest were later found to be false. The police claim, widely reported on the night, that two officers suffered broken bones and one a punctured lung was later retracted by Avon and Somerset police.
Heidi Gedge is the mother of Mariella Gedge-Rogers, who was jailed in 2022 for her part in the protests. She said:
The protesters, who were standing up for everyone’s right to freedom of speech, were brutally attacked by police. Then many were subjected to harsh prison sentences when they tried to defend themselves.
Heidi described how police brutally pinned her daughter to the ground:
This included my daughter, who in an unprovoked attack, was pinned to the ground by 3 police officers, her hand was stamped on and she feared for her life. She is currently serving 5.5 years in prison for riot yet not a single officer has been exposed, questioned or called to account for their outrageous behaviour.
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- Justice For Bristol Protesters is a volunteer group led by the families and friends of those in prison. More information can be found on twitter and instagram @JBPprotest.
- Donate to the Kill the Bill prisoner support fund, and write to the Kill the Bill prisoners.
- Listen to this podcast about the 21 March, and what people are doing in Bristol to support the Kill the Bill defendants.
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