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‘Kill Bill’ protesters sit on the highway and block traffic

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Look: “Kill Bill protesters block the M32 motorway in Bristol

Traffic in Bristol was blocked when Kill the Bill protesters landed on a motorway as demonstrations against plans to increase police powers were held across England.

Thousands marched in cities and regions to protest against the Draft Law on Police, Crime, Punishment and Courts despite blocking COVID-19.

The proposed legislation would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on nonviolent protests.

Crowds gathered for another weekend of protests in several regions, including London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Liverpool, Dorset and Bristol.

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Protesters in Bristol brought traffic to a standstill when they blocked the M32 motorway at junction 3 while sitting on the street.

More than 1,000 people took part in the Bristol protest, according to Avon and Somerset Police.

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 which leads to the M32 in Bristol during a 'Kill the Law' protest against Police, Crime, Punishment and Court Draft Laws.  Photo Date: Saturday 3 April 2021.

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 leading to the M32 in Bristol during a ‘Kill the Law’ protest against Police, Crime, Punishment and Court Draft Laws. (PA)

The force issued an order to distribute section 35 to the city center early Sunday morning after “a number of incidents involving violence among the remaining protesters”.

In London, Metropolitan Police said the arrests were made when “a small minority” of protesters were still in London’s Parliament Square on Saturday evening.

Met police later said ten officers were injured, “none of these are believed to be serious.”

He added that 26 people had been arrested for a variety of criminal offenses, including assaulting police and disturbing the peace and possession of an assault rifle.

The police face demonstrators in A4032 which leads to the M32 into Bristol during a protest 'Vrasni Law' against Police, Crime, Punishment Draft Courts.  Photo Date: Saturday 3 April 2021.

The police face demonstrators in the A4032 leading to the M32 in Bristol during a protest ‘Vrasni Law’ against Police, Crime, Punishment Draft Courts. (PA)

Commander Ade Adelekan described the protests as a “challenging day for officers”.

He said: “The vast majority of people who came out in central London today did so by adhering to social distance.

“They engaged with my officers when asked and left when asked – I would like to thank those who did so.”

He added: “We stand in the midst of a global pandemic and have made great progress in controlling the spread of the virus; we will not allow the selfish actions of a small number of people to jeopardize the progress of Londoners.”

Dozens of police with helmets had arrived in Westminster as protesters continued to stand with officers.

Look: ‘Kill the Law’ protesters take to the streets across England

Most of the protesters from the Kill the Law demonstration, who gathered in Parliament Square earlier in the day, had dispersed a few hours earlier.

But some stood behind and constantly shouted “shame on you” to the officers constantly.

The remaining protesters marched from Whitehall to Trafalgar Square, where violent clashes with police began.

Earlier in the demonstration in Parliament Square, former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn told the crowd that Bill policing was a “very dangerous, slippery slope” as he defended the right to protest.

To cheers and applause, he said: “If we do not protest, things do not change.”

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 which leads to the M32 in Bristol during a 'Kill the Law' protest against Police, Crime, Punishment and Court Draft Laws.  Photo Date: Saturday 3 April 2021.

Demonstrators walk along the A4032 leading to the M32 in Bristol during a ‘Kill the Law’ protest against Police, Crime, Punishment and Court Draft Laws. (PA)

In Newcastle, there was a low response from Northumbria Police as hundreds of people gathered under the Gray Monument.

Protesters, including one holding a banner saying “we will not be silent”, chanted like a singer with a guitar performed contrary to the proposed bill.

Demonstrators marching from the monument through downtown Newcastle chanted, “Whose streets are our streets?”

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Many of them knelt in the Civic Center and held a minute of silence for the victims of the repression, after which an applause erupted.

Meanwhile, Dorset Police thanked those who took part in the “peaceful protests” in Bournemouth and Weymouth and stood by the Covid-19 restrictions.

Chief Inspector Richard Bell said: “We have always sought to strike the right balance between the rights of protesters and those of residents and businesses, while also taking into account the very real risks from the spread of the virus.”

See: Police, Crime, Punishment and the Draft Law on Courts: What’s in it and why it has caused controversy

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