Image credits: AP
Thousands of demonstrators gathered across the UK against a proposed law that would provide the police additional powers to curb protests. However, London also witnessed some clashes between the protesters and the law enforcement and reportedly at least 26 have been arrested at the “Kill the Bill” demonstration in central London. Projectiles were thrown around as the Metropolitan Police officers pushed the demonstrators away in an effort to disperse the crowd. On Saturday operation, as per reports, 10 officers have also been injured.
Britain’s The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill is aimed at toughening the measures that the officers can take in order to disperse the demonstrations such as imposing time and noise limits. However, the campaigners and activists are protesting against the bill fearing that it would be used to curb dissent. On April 3, ‘Kill the Bill’ marches were held in dozens of towns and cities backed by huge campaign groups including Extinction Rebellion and the Black Lives Matter movement. Except for minor clashes in London, all other rallies passed peacefully.
London’s Metropolitan Police deployed a large number of its officers in the UK capital to curb the protests. It also said that 26 arrests have been made while 10 officers suffered minor injuries. Commander Ade Adelekan said, “The vast majority of people who turned out in central London today did so while adhering to social distancing. However, a small minority did not engage despite the repeated efforts of officers on the ground. This left us with no option but to move to an enforcement stage and arrests have been made."
‘Kill the Bill’ protests are triggered by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government introducing the bill in the lower house on March 9. The UK government has said that the bill will be empowering law enforcement and other emergency workers by providing them with the tools required to curb violence and disorder. However, critics of the bill argue that it would further diminish the people’s right as well as their freedom to protest because it gives the police powers to “stop disruptive protests.”