Protesters gather in London to oppose more police powers

Protesters gather in London to oppose more police powers
Kill The Bill — Last night, hundreds came together to rally against the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Westminster as it grows ever closer to becoming law.

On 7 December, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill (also known as the ‘policing bill’) reached another stage in its passage through Parliament. After passing its third reading in the commons in July of earlier this year, the Bill moved into the House of Lords where it has gradually been progressing. It is expected to reach its final stage over the next few days.

The policing bill has been extremely controversial since its introduction earlier this year. Campaigners say that many of the new provisions within it, which include new offences for vandalising statues and new powers for the police to shut down protest, will dramatically impinge on the right to protest in the UK, which is enshrined within the Human Rights Act. The Bill also includes provisions to criminalise trespass which many say will target Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Protests erupted in March and saw violent clashes on the streets of Bristol, London and Manchester as activists fought to ‘kill the bill’.

As the Bill has passed through the Lords, further powers have been added, including provisions that see increased stop and search powers and those which will outlaw so-called ‘lock-ons’ (the practice of locking yourself to a person or an object through the use of lock-on tubes or D-locks). Last night, hundreds came out on the streets of London to protest the bill.

Speaking on the Bill, Labour MP Nadia Whittome told Huck:This Bill represents the criminalisation of our democratic rights; the end of protest as we know it in this country. Anyone who attends any demonstration will be at risk of arrest, of prosecution, of having their lives turned upside-down for daring to oppose this government. These are the laws of a dictatorship, not a democracy.”

She added: “It is of course marginalised people, like Roma and Traveller communities and Black youth, who will be targeted disproportionately. We have to resist this attack on protest through protest itself. We must build public pressure and force the government to U-turn.”

As Tories continue to be embroiled by scandal around alleged parties held in lockdown, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new raft of Covid-19 measures, anger at the government reached fever pitch. Photographer Aiyiush Pachnanda was there to capture the protests which took place in Westminster as the Bill continued its passage through the House of Lords.

Follow Aiyush Pachnanda on Instagram. 

Ben Smoke is Huck’s Politics & Activism Editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Enjoyed this article? Like Huck on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Latest on Huck

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures
Photography

In photos: Three decades of Glastonbury Festival’s people and subcultures

A new photobook explores the unique cultural experience and communal spirit found at the UK’s largest festival.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo
Photography

Surreal scenes from the streets of Tokyo

A new book by photographer Feng Li uses images of strange encounters to explore the historical centre of street photography.

Written by: Isaac Muk

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore
Culture

Re-enchanted England: Exploring Paganism and Folklore

A new book dives into the ancient traditions and rituals that many are turning to in an age of uncertainty, crisis and climate breakdown.

Written by: Thomas Andrei

Inside London’s Museum of Sex
Culture

Inside London’s Museum of Sex

For two days only a derelict house in south east London will become a hub of artwork exploring eroticism, sexuality, gender, and the body.

Written by: Brit Dawson

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?
Outdoors

Why is Neil Diamond’s mega-hit ‘Sweet Caroline’ so intoxicating for sports fans?

During this summer’s edition of the Euros, one certainty is the ubiquity of Diamond’s 1969 hit. But how and why did it gain such a storied place in England fans’ hearts? Jimmy McIntosh investigates.

Written by: Jimmy McIntosh

Can things only get better, again?
Election 2024

Can things only get better, again?

With the re-emergence of D:Ream’s euphoric 1993 hit and a ’97 style Labour landslide looking likely, Hannah Ewens dives deep into the creation of Cool Britannia, and asks experts whether it could be repeated again.

Written by: Hannah Ewens

Sign up to our newsletter

Issue 80: The Ziwe issue

Buy it now