Kill the Bill anniversary protest Bristol: Police issue statement on ‘potential disruption’

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A demonstration to mark the second anniversary of Bristol’s Kill the Bill protests and the subsequent arrests will be held in the city centre at 5.30pm today (March 21).

A number of groups, including Bristol Defendant Solidarity, will meet at the Bearpit before the event begins, marking two years since the demonstrations against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which extended police power to shut down protests.

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Violent clashes broke out between protestors and Avon and Somerset Police officers and an estimated £212,000 worth of damage was caused. The riot outside Bridewell police station on the Saturday back in 2021 was followed by two further protests, another outside the station and one on College Green, which were again broken up by officers using force.

A statement by Avon and Somerset Police has warned of disruption in the city centre area, especially outside the Bridewell station.

It reads: “It is due to take place at The Bearpit at about 5.30pm, with plans we understand for a short march along Bridewell Street, which may disrupt traffic.

“Our priority will be to facilitate peaceful protest, while also protecting the rights of people who live, work and travel in the city. We’ll have officers in the city centre to engage with those attending the protests. as well as other members of public.

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“Due to the potential for disruption affecting access to Bridewell Police Station, we’d like to make people aware the enquiry office will be shut early at 5pm”

More than 30 people have been sentenced for several offences which occurred during the 2021 protest. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill was then enacted some months later in April 2022.

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