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Thousands Rally Over Britain’s Plan To Limit Protests | News | DW

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London police detained several protesters at a rally on Saturday against a bill that would impose new restrictions on public protests.

Officials said that during the march, “a few” thorns blocked the way to Parliament Square.

Police said on Twitter, “They are not taking social distancing and are putting people at risk of spreading the Covid virus.”

“Most have left and we urge the rest of the people to listen to the police and leave the area now.”

What is a protest?

The London rally was one of dozens of such events held in England and Wales on Saturday.

Protesters criticized the British government’s initiative to give police more power to curb protests. Depending on the proposed police, criminal, sentence and court legislation, authorities may impose time and noise restrictions on protesters or stop “very destructive” protests.

Critics say the bill uses vague language to give police little control over power. The initiative will also impose stricter penalties for damaging the statue.

Police said a handful of protesters have refused to leave the area

Movements like Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter are against the bill. The opposition, the Labor Party, promised to vote no.

What did Jeremy Corbyn say?

On Saturday, former Labor leader Jeremy Corbin pointed out the protest’s central role in securing freedom.

“Democracy and democratic rights have never been laid down from above,” he told the crowd. In a Twitter post, he said, “I will always defend the right to protest against injustice.”

In Bristol last week, protests against the initiative turned violent, with protesters firing missiles at police and setting fire to squad cars.

Some police officers have also criticized the tag “kill the bill” because “bill” is a British slang for the police.

dj/mm (Reuters, AP)

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