THOUSANDS of ‘Kill the Bill’ protesters today marched through cities across the UK against plans to increase police powers.
Demonstrators gathered in huge crowds in forty towns and cities in opposition to the proposed Police, Crime Sentencing and Courts legislation.
Kill the Bill protesters gather in Trafalgar Square, Central LondonCredit: Getty
Thousands joined the march in Central London against increased police powersCredit: Getty
Demonstrators also gathered in BrightonCredit: Alamy
A demonstrator lets off a blue smoke canister in central ManchesterCredit: AFP
Protesters hold placards reading ‘Black Lives Matter’ in SheffieldCredit: AFP
The legislation would give police in England and Wales more power to clamp down on non-violent protests, and would criminalise marches deemed a “public nuisance”.
Protesters gathered in huge numbers in Trafalgar Square in Central London, while hundreds also joined marches in Manchester, Edinburgh, Leeds and Sheffield among other cities.
Nine people were arrested in London during today’s protests, the Metropolitan Police confirmed this evening.
In Newcastle, demonstrators faced off against officers who blocked them from accessing a police station.
One witness said: “Police closed the road and stopped access, there were a couple of scuffles and a few protestors were detained.
“After 30 minutes or so the protestors seemed to realise they wouldn’t get through so moved on.”
Protestors gathered in Newcastle for the ‘Kill The Bill’ protestCredit: Alamy
Protesters play songs in Newcastle city centreCredit: Alamy
People dance after the ‘Kill the Bill’ protest in central LondonCredit: AP
Protesters staged a sit-in in central ManchesterCredit: AFP
The legislation sparked uproar in March, with Bristol rocked by demonstrations for nearly a week as protests turned violent.
Last month, the Metropolitan Police also arrested 107 people in London in connection with the demonstrations.
The bill is set to progress through Parliament this month – but has been condemned by activist groups.
Today’s protest, which was spearheaded by anti-domestic violence charity Sisters Uncut, also featured many placards supporting environmental activists Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the Black Lives Matter movement.
A Home Office spokesman claimed the legislation would help cops combat “disruptive and dangerous tactics” used during demonstrations.
They added: “These new measures will not stop people from carrying out their civic right to protest and be heard, but will prevent large scale disruption – enabling the silent majority to get on with their lives.”
The Kill the Bill demonstrations coincided with Extinction Rebellion’s “Protest of One” campaign, which saw hundreds of people up and down the country stage one-man road blocks in protest at the Government’s lack of action on climate change.