Epigram News Team
The police say a ‘significant number’ of protestors still remain on Deanery Road and are continuing to refuse to leave the area.
Avon & Somerset police have this evening dispersed a crowd of protestors on College Green that had initially contained up to 130 people.
Today’s event was the second demonstration in Bristol within a matter of days against the government’s planned Police and Crime Bill, following a protest on Sunday that had ended in violence.
Protesters removed by riot police from a peaceful protest on College Green are now in a stand-off with officers on foot and horseback on Deanery Road pic.twitter.com/rRt7QMVfxH— Martin Booth (@beardedjourno) March 23, 2021
Today’s demonstration was specifically aimed at the effect the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would have on the Travellers, Roma and Gypsy communities.
Police had earlier urged protestors not to attend the demonstration and to comply with lockdown regulation.
Approximately 100 police officers were then called in to disperse the crowds earlier this evening, including some officers on horseback and some with police dogs.
One demonstrator who attended today’s events told Epigram he was on College Green earlier in the evening, which he described as ‘so peaceful, no violence, no loud music, there was nothing. People were sat down, demonstrating their right to assemble. And then, all of a sudden, riot police came in.’
Jess, a Bristol student, meanwhile, told Epigram she had attended the protest ‘as it’s a basic human right that people should have to have a place to live and not have their vehicle taken away from them.
‘It’s not going to affect me personally,’ she added, but I have family that live off-grid and I just think it’s awful what the Bill is imposing.’
‘We’ve been completely peaceful all day, most of us have had our masks on all day.’
In their most recent Tweet, sent at 11pm, Avon & Somerset police said: ‘Protestors have been moved off College Green.
‘A significant number remain on Deanery Road and continue to refuse to leave the area.
‘Officers will take proportionate action to disperse crowds.
‘They are not containing anyone and we continue to urge people to move on.’
Featured Image: Epigram / Megan Evans
Did you attend today’s protest?