Many arrested in Britain after new Bristol bill protest turns violent

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dpa/GNA – Fourteen people were arrested following a second “Kill the Bill” protest in Bristol in three days, Avon and Somerset Police said early on Wednesday.

The Tuesday protest of about 200 people in Bristol, in the south-west of England, finished after officers “enforced COVID-19 legislation,” police said in a statement.

“A total of 14 people were arrested for offences including breaches of COVID-19 legislation and obstruction of a highway,” the statement said, adding that one of those detained was also arrested in connection to a Sunday demonstration – also over the new police bill – that turned violent.

A bill currently making its way through British parliament could see the police being given more powers during protests.

The proposed law foresees a new offence of “intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance,” which could see people facing jail time or a fine if found guilty.

Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said that additional resources from neighbouring forces were brought in to safely end the protest, which was taking place in breach of “legislation in place to protect public health.”

Aimes said it was “disappointing” that officers had to take action after protesters refused to move on “on a day we should be remembering all those who’ve lost their lives to COVID-19 over the past year.”

She said it was “unacceptable” for people to insult efforts made by communities in Bristol to defeat the virus.

On Tuesday, Britain marked one year since it entered its first coronavirus lockdown. The United Kingdom has recorded over 4.3 million infections and almost 150,000 deaths connected to Covid-19.

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