Kill the Bill demonstrations have been annouced for May 1st to take place across the country. The demonstrations are part of a national day of action against the Conservative government’s repressive police crackdown Bill, taking place in Sheffield, London, Leeds and Manchester. The day of action has been organised by a coalition of groups including Sisters Uncut, Black Lives Matter UK, Disabled People Against Cuts, Women’s Strike Assembly and Docs not Cops.
The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a full throated attack on the right to protest, handing the police stringent new powers to restrict dissent. The Bill criminalises GRT communities and expands racist stop and search powers. The Bill’s concern for the economic impact of demonstrations has obvious implications for boycott movements like BDS, environmental groups and unions.
Kill the Bill demonstrations have seen police violence, most notably in Bristol where police officers attacked protesters with dogs, shields and batons and in London, which saw a mass arrest of over 100 protesters. When attending demonstrations it is important to keep in mind GBC’s 5 key messages:
- No Comment
- No Personal Details
- What Power?
- No Caution
- No Duty Solicitor
It is unlikely that the Bill will be defeated through parliamentary or legal means. At the second reading of the Bill no Tory MPs either voted against or abstained from the Bill. There is no indication that this will change for the third reading. Without external intervention the Bill is likely to pass. This is no reason to be fatalistic. Ultimately, the Bill will be defeated in the streets, in organsing a mass movement big enough to make it unenforceable. As the initial wave of anger and mobilising energy subsides, it is the task of all of us to build momentum and capacity as we further challenge this legislation. Bring your friends, follow social media for more details and see you on the streets.
Leeds – 3pm at Woodhouse Moor
Manchester – 4pm at St Peter’s Square
Sheffield – 1pm at Devonshire Green
For more analysis on the Bill and what it means, listen to 12 Rules for What’s recent episode with barrister and writer Dave Renton.