In April, the streets of London were overshadowed by protesters. Demonstrations were held not only in the capital, but also in other cities of the United Kingdom. The main slogan of the demonstrators is Kill the Bill – they oppose the expansion of the powers of the police, because this will allow the police to limit the participation of citizens in actions under the pretext that such noisy events cause inconvenience to society. The confrontation between the demonstrators and the police escalated after the dispersal of the participants of the rally in memory of Sarah Everard, whose murder is accused of a London policeman.
More than 100 people were detained as a result of the demonstration on April 4 in central London, the participants of which opposed the government’s new bill to expand the powers of the police in banning and dispersing street protests. As the press service of the police later clarified, the protesters violated public order and the procedures provided for by COVID-19, in connection with which some demonstrators were detained.
The Kill the Bill protests took place not only in the capital, but also in other cities – in Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham. The protesters were supported by the former leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The politician made a speech and called to fight against the adoption of a new bill.
The bill was introduced in the House of Commons on March 9, 2021, but the catalyst for the protests was the dispersal of protesters on memorial day for the murdered Sarah Evevard. The woman disappeared on the evening of March 3, a week later her body was found in a forest in Kent. A London policeman, Wayne Cousins, has been charged with kidnapping and murder.
Sarah’s murder caused a public outcry, funeral actions were planned under the slogan “Reclaim These Streets”, which means “Return our streets”. But the police banned these actions, citing the need to comply with social measures in the event of a pandemic.
Instead of a mourning movement, the British lit candles in memory of the deceased. However, some people still gathered in a park in the Clapham area. The police dispersed the protesters, which caused an even greater public outcry.
If the new bill is passed, the police will have the right to impose restrictions against noisy events. A complete ban will be for events that can “intimidate or harass” others or cause anxiety, anxiety. This will even apply to protests organized by one person, not a group of individuals.
Amendments can also be made to the part concerning unauthorized tent camps, now such camps will be banned in places where they have been liquidated within 12 months. The Government claims that such additions are primarily aimed at protecting the interests of citizens.
Opponents of the bill argue that such an innovation can seriously restrict the rights of even peaceful protesters, because the police may have the opportunity to cancel absolutely any protest.
The author of the publication is Editor-in-Chief Bella Kortel