The second major Kill the Bill day of action on Saturday should be a day of anger, resistance and defiance.
The Tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill will give police more draconian powers, including the ability to shut down and limit protests.
In the wake of Extinction Rebellion and Black Lives Matter protests, home secretary Priti Patel has sought to crack down on radical and effective demonstrations.
Patel knows the power protests have, and wants to ban opposition that could hurt the Tories.
The bill will also hit Travellers, Gypsies and Roma people.
The latest round of Tory repression has seen a multitude of groups, from anti-racists to climate activists and trans rights groups, unite on the streets.
Last Friday, Saturday and Sunday protesters demonstrated in areas including Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Norwich, Barnstaple, Cambridge, Malvern, Falmouth, Lancaster, Swansea, Cardiff and Worcester.
In Bristol, which has been at the centre of clashes with police, a protester was arrested “on suspicion of conspiracy to commit public nuisance”.
Protesters gathered for the seventh Kill the Bill demonstration and marched through the city.
It followed news that Avon and Somerset Police chief Andy Marsh will quit in the summer following his force’s heavy handling of the bill riots.
Riot cops have violently attacked protesters in recent weeks.
Yet Marsh has also been criticised for “failing to intervene” during Black Lives Matter protests last summer where people dumped a statue of slaver Edward Colston in the docks.
Under the new bill, attacking a statue can lead to a ten year prison sentence—longer than many sentences for sexual assault or rape.
Last Saturday in Manchester protesters gathered in St Peter’s Square chanting, “Kill the Bill” and, “Tories out.”
Protesters also held placards reading, “Defend Roma rights.”
Speakers included Stand Up to Racism, Extinction Rebellion and a rep from the Unison union.
It’s vital more workers and union banners are out next Saturday. The radicalism from the streets needs to feed into the trade union movement.
The way to beat the bill is to bring the fight to the workplaces. But this should not detract from the radicalism of the street movement.
Saturday’s protests will clash with the official silence for the Duke of Edinburgh.
It’s important protesters aren’t pulled into the elite’s ramped up patriotism at a time when resistance against the Tories is so militant and necessary.
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