Kill the Bill: Hundreds turn out to protest in Bristol

kill the bill bristol crowd
Hundreds gathered to protest the Home Secretary's new bill.

Hundreds of people turned out in Bristol city centre to join a day of national action against the Government's new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

The bill is a huge piece of legislation that includes major government proposals on crime and justice in England and Wales.

One part of the bill covers changes to protests and how they are policed.

Those against it have argued that the amendments are a danger to freedom of speech and the right to peaceful protest as demonstrators could face harsh penalties.

The new bill could see harsher penalties for 'disruptive' protest.

The Bill would put protesters at risk of prison sentences for actions that cause “serious annoyance”, which could be done by making loud noise or disrupting transport.

Stop and search powers would be expanded, and new laws against residing on land without authorisation with a vehicle could see the criminalisation of traveller communities.

However the Government says the changes to protesting in the bill are to balance the rights of protesters with the rights of others to go about their business unhindered.

The bill will go before the House of Lords on Monday (17 January), where peers will vote on whether to reject it or not.

There were protests across the country.

Hundreds of people in Bristol have joined others around the country in protesting the proposal.

They are calling for peers to shoot down the bill before it is able to become law.

Protesters gathered with drums, banners and loudspeakers outside City Hall.

Speakers lined up to argue that the tighter rules on protests were an infringement on their human rights and a danger to democracy.

The protest remains peaceful.