Kill The Bill: Campaigners descend on Sheffield city centre to protest against police and crime bill

Hundreds of campaigners have gathered in Sheffield this weekend to protest against a police and crime bill.

By Kian Rains
Sunday, 16th January 2022, 7:02 pm

Campaigners held a rally outside the Sheffield City Hall in Sheffield on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts bill, which is reaching its final stages in Parliament.

If passed in Parliament, the bill will give police more power to suppress protests, and those who take part in demonstrations could face jail time, with many many individuals believing it is an attack on their democratic right to protest.

The rally in Barker’s Pool, Sheffield, was attended by campaigners from Extinction Rebellion, Black Lives Matter and many others, including Olivia Blake, the Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam and shadow minister for climate change.

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Campaigners held a rally outside the Sheffield City Hall in Sheffield on Saturday afternoon to protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill

Olivia blake MP said: “Great to be out on the streets with people in Sheffield fighting the Government's authoritarian policing bill.

“The right to protest is the cornerstone of our democracy, and without it, our country would be unrecognisable. We must fight this bill with everything we've got."

She added: “Our city has a proud tradition of protest - a tradition still very much alive today.

"If this history is anything to go by, people in Sheffield will be at the forefront of the fight for our right to protest, and I will be standing with them.

Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam, addressed the protest

“Solidarity to all those who were able to join rallies across the country and thank you to all the organisers.”

January 15 was designated as a nationwide day of action, and protests also took place in cities including London, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester.

The bill’s anti-protest measures grant police the power to ban marches and demonstrations that they consider to be “seriously disruptive”, including those deemed too noisy.

New proposals say that police officers will be able to search members of the public 'whether or not the constable has any reason to believe that the person is carrying a prohibited object’.

As part of the amendments, 'locking on' has also been made a crime, as has carrying equipment that could be used to help with the proposed crime.

Wilful obstruction of a highway and obstruction of major transport works have also been made crimes and prison sentences of up to 10 years could be given for damage to memorials or statues.

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