Hundreds attend Kill the Bill protests across England

Support us and go ad-free

Hundreds of people have taken part in Kill the Bill protests across the UK on Friday 2 April. Protests are in opposition to the powers that will be granted to police in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Large numbers of people gathered in Guildhall Square in Southampton. Demonstrators also convened in London and Manchester.

Protests are lawful

Following an easing of restrictions in England, the protests are lawful. Organisers have been asked to submit a risk assessment and take steps to ensure the gatherings are safe.

‘Kill The Bill’ protest – London
Demonstrators during a ‘Kill The Bill’ protest against The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Finsbury Park, North London (Aaron Chown/PA

Despite this, the Metropolitan Police warned on Thursday 2 April that they’d take enforcement action “if needed, in the interests of public health”.

Demos across England

In Southampton, protesters set up a makeshift PA system and chanted “Kill the Bill”, while others banged drums.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

A crowd of around 200 gathered outside the gates of Finsbury Park in north London. Most were wearing masks, and many held banners with phrases defending the right to protest. The group stayed for around an hour and a half before dispersing peacefully.

In Manchester, demonstrators remained socially distanced in St Peter’s Square. It came after Greater Manchester Police introduced a 48-hour dispersal order for the city centre. This means officers can direct anyone acting anti-socially to leave the area. The order will last until 3pm on Saturday 3 April.

‘Kill The Bill’ protest – Manchester
In Manchester, demonstrators remained socially distanced in St Peter’s Square (Peter Byrne/PA)

The first Kill the Bill protest in Bristol on 21 March descended into a riot following heavy-handed policing. Subsequent rallies on 23 and 26 March also ended in clashes between the police and protesters. A further demonstration on 30 March passed off peacefully.

The Police Bill

The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests. That includes protests deemed too noisy or a nuisance. It also includes protests which affect businesses, such as worker strikes.

Many have also criticised the bill for effectively criminalising Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities. Those convicted would be liable to fines or jail terms.

Support us and go ad-free

We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support

The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.

The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.

So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.

Support us