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Hundreds expected to protest budget in Bristol "mass die-in"

Chancellor George Osborne delivered the budget earlier today. Credit: PA

Hundreds of people are expected to protest today's budget in a "mass die-in" in Bristol this evening.

The protest, organised by the Bristol People's Assembly, aims to highlight what the organisers call "the many deaths and huge damage to millions of lives which continues to be caused by austerity and the cuts".

Today's budget included a reduction in the benefit cap for households, an end to housing benefit for 18-21 year-olds, a two-child limit for child tax credits and a freeze in working age benefits for four years.

The Chancellor also announced a new National Living Wage of £7.20 an hour, which will increase to £9 an hour by 2020.

Protestors are planning to move around Bristol, beginning at fountains near the city's Harbourside at 5pm, and ending at College Green.

More than 800 people have signed up to attend so far.

Thousands spent on allotment security

Protester being evicted from Stapleton allotments Credit: ITV News

Round the clock security will remain in place at a site where protesters were evicted last month in Bristol.

Campaigners camped out at Stapleton allotments in opposition to a new MetroBus route. Bristol City Council won a court order to remove them.

It says ongoing site surveillance and the eviction has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Work is underway to reconfigure the allotments, making sure there is no interruption to local food production as a result of work on the MetroBus scheme. No allotments are being lost and improved facilities will be put in place for allotment holders including more parking, more water points and a new allotment building.

Once work on the allotments is complete, construction work for the bus-only junction will get underway. The link, which is part of the North Fringe/Hengrove Park MetroBus route, is expected to reduce journey times between Hengrove and the University of West of England by 27 minutes, linking people in South Bristol with growing job opportunities in the north of the city.

The site will remain under guard, with the situation reviewed regularly. Whilst there is a cost to this, it is far less than the cost of clearing another occupation of the site. The costs of the recent eviction operation and necessary ongoing site security are estimated to be hundreds of thousands of pounds.

– Bristol City Council spokesman


Police to reveal plans for policing EDL march in Bristol

The EDL is holding a demonstration on the 14th, the same day as Bristol Pride Credit: ITV West

Avon and Somerset will be revealing details later today of how they plan to police an English Defence League march later this month.

The EDL is holding a demonstration on the 14th, the same day as Bristol Pride is staging its annual festival. It's the first time the EDL will have marched through Bristol.

Police want to hear from people planning to protest against EDL march in Bristol

Avon and Somerset police want to hear from people planning to protest against an English Defence League march that's being held in Bristol next month.

Officers say public safety is the top priority.

They've agreed a route with EDL organizers to make sure the march doesn't impact on Bristol Pride celebrations which are being held in the city on the same day.

Protesters call for more help in Syria

Protestors and politicians gathered in Bristol on Saturday to call on the government to do more to help people in Syria. Problems in the country have been escalating since March last year. More than 13 thousand people have died.

Campaigners say they have to keep pressure on the international community to help stop the violence. Tanya Mercer has this report:


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