Four people fined for holding an ‘unlawful protest’ in Bristol

Police outside Bristol Magistrates' Court on Monday 25 January. Credit: PA

Four people have been fined for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules after being arrested outside Bristol Magistrates' Court.

Two men, aged 43 and 68, and two women, aged 59 and 60, were initially detained by officers on Monday 25 January after attending an “unlawful protest” and “refusing to disperse”.

The four people were arrested for protesting ahead of a hearing of 'The Colston 4' - the four people who have been charged with criminal damage following the toppling of slave trader Edward Colston's statue in June last year.

A statement, Avon and Somerset Police said the four people have been fined £200 each for breaching lockdown laws.

The force added: “Gatherings of more than two people are currently prohibited by the government and protests are not exempt in this lockdown.

A statue of Edward Colston was pulled down during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Bristol in June. Credit: PA

“An event was originally due to take place in support of the four people charged by the Crown Prosecution Service with causing criminal damage to the statue of Edward Colston last June – whose first appearance in court took place today.

“In light of the pandemic organisers subsequently urged people to gather online and more than 150 people joined a video call.

However, a small number of people chose to turn up in person, resulting in officers engaging with them before taking enforcement action when they refused to leave.

Avon and Somerset Police

“We’d like to once again thank those who dialled into the online event for recognising the gravity of the health crisis we continue to endure.”

The four individuals who were arrested have since being given a £200 fine for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules.

An additional four people were given formal warnings before they departed from the area.


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