Police said officers were pelted with projectiles when they tried to disperse the crowds (Picture: SWNS/PA/EPA)
Police in riot gear have clashed with protestors in Bristol during the latest ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration.
Hundreds had marched through the city for the third protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in the space of a week.
The legislation would give the police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance.
Massive crowds assembled on College Green before around 300 set off towards Bridewell Street, the scene of last weekend’s violence.
Around 300 marhced through the city centre this afternoon (Picture: Reuters)
They converged outside a police station in the city centre (Picture: EPA)
More than 1,000 demonstrators joined the sit-down protest (Picture: EPA)
Protesters sit in front of police officers (Picture: PA)
Police officers move in (Picture: PA)
A police officer detains a demonstrator (Picture: Reuters)
Over 1,000 converged on the street where they remained, sitting down near Bridewell police station.
Several rows of police stood between the demonstrators and the police station near the centre of the city.
Some officers held small round shields, and five police vans could be seen behind them.
The demonstrators could be heard chanting ‘Who do you protect?’ and ‘Justice for Sarah’.
Mounted police officers monitored the crowds (Picture: Jake McPherson/SWNS)
Others in riot gear moved in to break up the gathering (Picture: PA)
Police said a number of arrests have been made (Picture: PA)
When officers moved to disperse some of the crowds later in the evening, they were pelted with projectiles including eggs and bottles.
Confirming that some protesters had been arrested, the force tweeted: ‘Projectiles, including eggs and glass bottles, are being thrown at officers.
‘Protestors are also pulling at officers’ shields while lasers are being shone in their faces.
‘We will not tolerate violent disorder. Arrests have been made.’
Protesters are demonstrating against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (Picture: PA)
It is the third such demonstration in the space of a week (Picture: Reuters)
Demonstrators could be heard chanting ‘Who do you protect?’ (Picture: Mark Dolman/SplashNews)
Police urged the protesters to go home after the march (Picture: Mark Dolman/SplashNews)
The first demonstration held last Sunday started off peacefully with around 3,000 attending but descended into a riot when around 500 people marched on a city centre police station.
The force is investigating assaults on 40 officers and one member of the media.
Nine people have been arrested in connection with the disorder, which saw officers attacked, police vehicles set on fire and the windows of a police station smashed.
A second protest took place on College Green on Tuesday night and resulted in 15 arrests.
Officers have urged people not to attend any protests because public gatherings are not currently permitted under coronavirus legislation.
Demonstrators walk past police vehicles (Picture: Reuters)
Protesters also held up placards as they marched (Picture: Reuters)
Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said: ‘Once again, we remind everyone that we’re still in a pandemic which has cost many lives and remains a significant challenge for our colleagues in the NHS.
‘We have all sacrificed so much to stop the spread of this terrible disease and we’re so close to a relaxation of the restrictions, when protest will again be possible.
‘In Avon and Somerset we remain committed to facilitating peaceful protest when it’s safe and lawful to do so, however gatherings remain a breach of Covid-19 restrictions and risk increasing the spread of coronavirus.
‘We urge you not to come. We do understand the strength of opposition to the new legislation being debated in Parliament.
‘Protest is a right which we’re asking people to be responsible about exercising right now. This is about public health and public safety at a time of pandemic.
One protester held a makeshift sign reading ‘ban the bill’ (Picture: Reuters)
Some officers held small round shields (Picture: Reuters)
‘Please consider making your voice heard in different ways, such as contacting your MP or signing one of the petitions available online.
‘I want to make it clear. Peaceful protesters will be given the opportunity to disperse, but Bristol will not tolerate violent behaviour and we’re here to prevent it.’
Police have released images of 18 people they want to identify following the trouble on Sunday.
The force later said those arrested after Tuesday’s protest had all been released from custody and face being fined or reported for summons for Covid-19 regulation breaches, while several were on conditional bail for obstructing the highway, pending further inquiries or charging decisions.
A ‘Kill the Bill protest last weekend turned into a riot with several police officers injured (Picture: Phil Riley/SWNS)
A 22-year-old man from Bristol was released on conditional bail for the theft of a police baton, which was recovered, and two women from Bristol, aged 19 and 24, accepted a caution for obstructing the highway.
Two of those arrested on Tuesday were in connection with the violent disorder on Sunday, and they have been released under investigation.
Meanwhile, the force has retracted claims two officers suffered fractures in Sunday night’s riot.
A spokesman said: ‘We believed the information had been verified but it had not, and while we apologise for that there was no intention to mislead.’
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