Arrests made at London protest over policing powers and vigil

Cops made arrests on Monday night after hundreds of individuals who had collected to oppose the passage of a brand-new policing expense and to highlight violence against ladies marched through central London.

The cops, criminal activity, sentencing and courts expense, which had its second reading on Monday afternoon, has been criticised by civil society groups as “an attack on a few of the most fundamental rights of citizens”. It will provide new powers to police to manage demonstrations and enforce stiff sentences for rule-breakers.

Demonstrations around the costs have become entwined with those in reaction to the death of Sarah Everard, who disappeared from a street in south London at the beginning of March. A serving law enforcement officer has been charged with her abduct and murder.

After a rally addressed by MPs in Parliament Square on Monday, went to by several thousand individuals, protesters marched a winding path through Westminster and Lambeth chanting “all polices are bastards” and “whose streets? our streets” and triggering severe disturbance to traffic. They blockaded Westminster Bridge twice and massed outside the Metropolitan cops headquarters at New Scotland Lawn.

Police routed the protest for a number of hours, ordering those participating to return home. The Guardian experienced numerous individuals being jailed for breaching coronavirus regulations. The Met has not yet replied to a request for details on the number of arrests.

Activists from a number of motions, including Black Lives Matter, Extinction Rebellion, Stop HS2, and numerous antifascist groups, had required fans to collect in Parliament square from 12pm. Nevertheless, the occasion was controlled by activists from the feminist group Sis Uncut, the group behind Saturday night’s vigil for Everard on Clapham Common in south London, which was dispersed by police using heavy-handed methods that triggered prevalent outrage. The group staged a 2nd mass protest on Sunday where they called for fans to go to Monday’s march.

The Labour MPs Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Nadia Whittome and Apsana Begum were among the speakers who addressed the crowd in Parliament Square. Ribeiro-Addy drew cheers when she revealed she had actually tabled a modification to stop the brand-new policing expense, which will be heard on Tuesday.

She informed the Guardian: “The strength of feeling across our nation shows that speaking at a presentation like this is really crucial. It’s a real shame when politicians do not reflect the mood of communities that we state that we represent. There’s individuals that are upset, ladies in specific that are angry, right across the nation and pushing through an expense that clearly has no public support– it’s just more of the very same with the Tories. I’m here to support protesters; I’m here to support the right to demonstration.”

Whittome was attending her second protest in 2 days outside parliament. She said: “We’re here for two factors. One is to stand against male violence, whether that’s the hand of the state, partners or organizations. We are here to honour the lives of ladies who have been killed by guys … And we are here to withstand.

” I was here the other day and I’m here today because we have actually got to keep withstanding this federal government’s descent into authoritarianism, today, tomorrow and the day after. If this expense passes this will be the greatest crackdown on the right to protest; it will criminalise ‘serious annoyance’ or ‘serious trouble’. The whole point of protest is that you don’t ask consent to protest.”

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