Thousands of Britons hold ‘kill the bill’ rallies against new law
Thousands of demonstrators across Britain held massive “kill the bill” rallies on Saturday against a proposed law that would give police extra powers to curb protests, and undermine freedom of speech, according to protesters.
According to Press TV, the proposed law, entitled “Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts” bill, will allow police officers to take tougher measures to disperse demonstrations, such as imposing time and noise limits, which campaigners and activists fear would be used to curb dissent.
“Kill the bill” marches were held in dozens of towns and cities, supported by big campaign groups such as climate change campaigners Extinction Rebellion and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Jeremy Corbyn, the former Leader of the main opposition Labor Party, was among those who took part in one of the marches held in London.
“(I’m here) to defend the rights of free speech, and the rights of organisations in our society,” he said, according to Reuters.
“These demonstrations, 50 of them today, will make a difference,” he added.
Nearly all marches held on Saturday passed off peacefully but there were minor scuffles in central London between protesters and police following a rally attended by several thousand people.
There have been 26 arrests and 10 officers were injured, although none seriously, said London’s Metropolitan Police, which deployed a large number of officers in the capital to bring the protest to an end.