Police protest in Bristol erupt in an orgy of violence

A protest in Bristol againt the Police and Crime Bill turned ugly on Sunday, resulting and multiple injuries and a police station under siege.

Police protest in Bristol erupt in an orgy of violence
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Frustrations boiled over Sunday night. A crowd was protesting against the Police and Crime Bill, which they deem as catastrophic government overreach and representing too much power being given over to the police.

A night of violent venting

At first things started out fairly peaceful, with around 5,000 people gathering on College Green at 2pm for a sit down protest. But just four hours later, a throng of several thousand surrounded Bridewell Police Station. Riot police, cavalry and dogs were deployed as the siege raged on.

Andy Marsh of Avon and Somerset police told Sky News a number of those protesting ‘came for a fight with the police.’

It was a terrifying scene. Neighbourhood officers were effectively trapped inside the building with people on the roofs throwing fireworks at them, hurling projectiles.

This scene comes just a few days after the Met broke up a public vigil for Sarah Everard, allegedly murdered by a police officer. Compound this a year-long cabin fever, and with all-around government mismanagement of the health crisis, and you get a potent cocktail for a paroxysm of pent-up resentment towards authorities

Ideals and realities

The initial motivation for the protest was concerned that the UK is ‘becoming a police state.’ The bill being brawled over is constructed to give police more power, and effectively make it impossible to hold any non government-sanctioned protest. The police would be empowered to break up even peaceful protests, should they be determined to be ‘noisy,’ or ‘a nuisance.’

Now, one might question what would be the point of a protest that amounts to nothing, having drawn no other attention. But as for last night’s little tussle, the bottom line is rather severe, as some reports list up to 20 officers injured, including one with a broken arm and another with a likely punctured lung. So in the end, the night's events might just have added more fuel to the fire for the Bill's proponents.