The city of Bristol erupted into violence last night as protestors were met with hostility by the local police force, as they aimed to demonstrate against Conservative Home Secretary Priti Patel and her deeply unpopular Police Bill.
Police vehicles were set ablaze and the Bridewell Police Station’s windows (Bristol’s police HQ) were smashed as officers inside watched in fear.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (Police Bill for short) aims to drastically restrict the right to protest, describing excessive noise and disruption as a criminal offences and a maximum sentence of 10 years for those defacing public spaces.
The militant protests last night are the result of widely-held fears over any increase of the police’s power to invade, entrap, and stamp down on everyday people they decide are a threat.
Despite the Bill having been delayed in passing through Parliament, Britain is expected to see a shockwave in protests up and down the country, as a result of the Establishment’s attempts to silence those fighting for justice at a time when neoliberal cuts and poverty are increasing, especially workers and Trade Unionists.
The Chair of West of England YCL, Harry Hoar, was in the heart of the demonstration on Sunday, and he told Challenge: “The demonstrator’s violence was primarily a reaction to police aggression. We have seen an increasingly skewed narrative from the local media, corporations and the political establishment, but we are clear that sharpening class antagonisms, driven by years of anti-working class legislation and repression, made Sunday’s events inevitable and determined the stronger use of force by the police and the state that we have witnessed.”
Challenge News Desk