So the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, aka Policing Bill, is coming to the end of it’s journey through the House of Lords. It will then move back to the House of Commons & MP’s, where the Tory majority guarantees it will be passed. This article suggests it could be law within a month, or by the end of February. Despite the exhortations of many liberal organisations & campaigns to email/lobby a Lord, or your MP, to stop this or that amendment being passed – there is no way the Bill can be defeated in it’s entirety in Parliament. We cannot accept a slightly watered down Bill, we can only oppose it now, and make it unworkable when it becomes Law. Its a deeply shit Bill, undemocratic, a reversal of rights we’ve gained over centuries of struggles. It’s a Bill to help the Tories & their class maintain power & control. The failure of Labour to oppose the Bill in it’s entirety may be no surprise, but it’s an indication of how much groundwork is needed to push back and defeat it in the streets.
Articles such as these – by NetPol, by the Guardian, and by many others out there, and this interview with copwatcher Kevin Blowe, explain how bad the Bill is. This article reminds us that attacks on the Gypsy, Roma & Traveller (GRT) communities & trespass are as old as the hills we walk across and sleep upon. As of course are generalised attacks on our class & communities. We only have what we have through our own struggles, and they weren’t ever just ‘peaceful’ – beware the narrative & divisive tactic that tells you only ‘peaceful’ protest is acceptable – that is the narrative of the bosses & aristocracy, and a myth. Their repression is never ‘peaceful’. We have the numbers, and they know it, because they are so few. We, the masses, are the majority, and if we merely stir they tremble in fear. The toppling of Colston was possible because we were many, and they had barely 60 cops to put on the streets that day, so they stayed away. That is why they wished to punish the Colston 4, to make us scared again. They fear us – never forget that. Long live the mob!
The details for this Saturday are on the images, which we found circulating widely online. Come along to College Green BS1 from 1pm for speakers & info, with a march at 3pm.
There will be protests across England & some in Wales. This map gives the locations, and this twitter thread give more info too. Near to Bristol there are known protests in Bath & Cardiff as well.
Prior to Bristol’s KillTheBill protests, at 12noon, meeting in Queens Sq BS1, Bristol YS4C & Youth Climate Swarm are meeting for a….climate swarm. Good article from The Bristol Activist on that here.
There are extensive legal guides available online to read & download if you wish, check out the:
Green & Black Cross guides – https://greenandblackcross.org/guides/
NetPol’s guides & advice – https://netpol.org/know-your-rights/
Black Protest Legal Support guides – https://blackprotestlaw.org/blog-2/
Bristol’s Defendants & Prisoners from 2021 #KillTheBill protests – Some current stats:
The large number of protests in Bristol, starting back on 21 March 2021, made global headlines. However afterwards the state clamped down hard on those who took took to the streets & defied police violence & brutality, despite many injuries, in order to stand up for their rights & freedoms…as was noted in this Parliamentary report.
Subsequently there were significant arrests, with some people already made prisoners of the state. The following figures relate to the 21 March protest aftermath:
– 83 arrested (and 35 still ‘wanted’ by AS Police).
– 13 imprisoned, only Ryan Roberts after a trial. Of those, 2 have been released. Of the 11 currently in prison, 9 welcome public support. There is also one (trans) woman, who was on remand in HMP Bristol but is now believed to have been sectioned – but has yet to appear in court.
– 26 defendants have trial dates set, nearly all for riot; 3 other people have Plea Hearing (PTPH) dates in January when trial dates will be set (if they plead not guilty)
– of the 83 arrested so far, 25 have been told they will not face charges. So there are presently circa 15 people who are ‘Released Under Investigation’ but could still be charged.
– there are a number of cases sent to trial where there remains the possibility of the charges being lowered, in the main these relate to young women (aged 19-22yrs), but possibly a few others too.
Defendant support is being provided by Bristol Defendant Solidarity – there’s a crowdfunder here that welcomes donations. There is also a fledgling, up & running campaign for defendants (plus family & friends) – the Bristol Anti-Repression Campaign (BARC).
Prisoner support is provided by Bristol ABC prisoner support group – their crowdfunder is here.
Both groups welcome people willing to do the hard graft of support work. Other groups & collectives have also stepped up with fundraisers, letter writing sessions, and information provision.
Solidarity is our best defence – do not be scared off protesting, stick together & look out for each other. You are not alone! The PCSCBill is designed to intimidate people off the streets, to sit meekly at home, and to not attend protests. But remember, we have the numbers, it is the Tories & their class who are scared.
(all images – internet scavenged)