Kill the Bill protesters plan rally in city centre
POLICE URGE CAMPAIGNERS TO CONSIDER ALTERNATIVES
A KILL the Bill protest was due to take place in Leicester today.
A Facebook event page has been set up inviting people to meet at the Clock Tower at 1pm to protest against changes to the Police and Crime Bill, passed by MPs this month.
Police said they have a legal duty to “facilitate” protests but urged people to “consider alternative ways in which they can voice their opinion”.
The page on Facebook states: “The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021 is an overt attack on the fundamental rights of all members of the British democracy.
“Within it are laws stripping away your right to have a voice and to be an active participant in the way this country is governed.
“Peaceful protests opposing this oppressive bill have been met with violence, which is why it is all the more important to come together in opposition.
“We will, of course, be doing all we can to ensure social distancing and facemasks will be encouraged.”
The Bill will see the police given more powers to tackle protests and demonstrations.
The wide-ranging proposals, as part of efforts to overhaul the justice system, cut offending and make streets safer, also include laws to reform sentencing, the courts and handling offenders.
A police spokesman said: “We are aware of plans to hold a protest opposing a government Bill at the Clock Tower in Leicester city centre on Saturday.
“We recognise the right to protest and we recognise our duty to facilitate peaceful protest.
“During the current climate, it is for the organiser to ensure any event is Covid-compliant and there is no risk to public health.
“Officers are in contact with the organiser to offer guidance accordingly.
“We would encourage anyone wishing to take part to consider alternative ways in which they can voice their opinion in order to minimise the risk of spreading the coronavirus.”
The Mercury has contacted the event’s organiser for comment.