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Minggu, 21 Maret 2021

British police clash with demonstrators in Bristol over anti-protest controls - ABC News

Police in the UK have clashed with demonstrators who are against a government bill that would give police new powers to restrict protests.

Thousands of protesters converged in the centre of Bristol, in southwest England, defying COVID-19 restrictions banning such gatherings and ignoring an appeal from the local police force to express their views by joining virtual protests.

A Reuters photographer at the scene saw some demonstrators launch fireworks towards police officers, try and knock over a police van, scale a police building and spray graffiti on it.

He also saw police, some in full riot gear, trying to repel protesters using batons and shields.

Protesters carried placards with slogans such as "The Day Democracy Became Dictatorship" and "We Can't Be Silenced That Easy".

Six police vans surround a crowd of protesters
Sarah Everard's murder has seen an outpouring of rage in response to violence against women and girls.(

Reuters: Peter Cziborra

)

The local Avon and Somerset Police asked the public to avoid the Bridewell Street area, where disturbances were still going on at nightfall.

"Officers … have had projectiles thrown at them, including a firework, and have been verbally abused. This is unacceptable behaviour and those responsible for offences will be identified and brought to justice," the force said on Twitter.

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UK Home Secretary Priti Patel called the violence "unacceptable".

"Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated. Our police officers put themselves in harm's way to protect us all," she said.

A riot police officer raises their baton as a protester holds up their skateboard
Police try to repel protesters using batons and shields.(

Reuters: Peter Cziborra

)

Protests come after Sarah Everard's murder

The government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill, currently going through parliament, would give police new powers to impose time and noise limits on street protests.

That has angered activists, particularly since a heavy-handed police response to a London vigil for murder victim Sarah Everard on March 13 caused widespread outrage and criticism of the police.

Police put handcuffs on a woman looking at the camera.
London police have been accused of police brutality in the wake of Ms Everard's murder.(

Reuters: Hannah McKay

)

The man suspected of Ms Everard's murder is a police officer, and the case has unleashed an outpouring of grief and rage over the issue of violence against women and girls.

The government bill pre-dated the Everard case and covers a wide range of policy areas as well as the policing of protests.

However, the two became connected in many people's minds because, by coincidence, the bill was up for debate in parliament two days after the London vigil.

Reuters/ABC

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https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiYGh0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmFiYy5uZXQuYXUvbmV3cy8yMDIxLTAzLTIyL3BvbGljZS1jbGFzaC13aXRoLXByb3Rlc3RlcnMtaW4tYnJpc3RvbC1lbmdsYW5kLzEwMDAyMDQ4NNIBAA?oc=5

2021-03-21 22:53:35Z
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