Sheffield 'Kill the Bill' protesters march through city centre - watch here

The otherwise mainly deserted streets of Sheffield city centre rang to the sound of almost 1,000 angry voices today on a Kill the Bill demonstration.

Saturday, 27th March 2021, 6:33 pm

The gathering at Devonshire Green turned into a march around the city centre with sit-downs on the street outside the main police station on Snig Hill and the town hall, where protesters spoke to the crowd about why they had come.

Placards and chanting expressed anger at the Conservatives and the police, with shouts of “Whose streets? Our streets” and “This is what democracy looks like” as well as “Kill the Bill” and “All Coppers are B****rds (ACAB)”.

The protesters were overwhelmingly young and the event was loud, angry, well organised and peaceful. A lone police officer stood watching events at the town hall.

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Kill the Bill protesters taking part in a sit-down outside Sheffield Town Hall

The demonstration, one of many taking place around the country, opposes the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will give police more powers to restrict and criminalise protests.

Women protesters from Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign said: “The proposed legislation will at some point affect everybody.

"You could be at risk for criticising the wrongs that are done to people. We are still fighting for justice because of state-controlled police brutality and you are not going to be able to hold big protests. This adds insult to injury.”

Protesters gather in Devonshire Green in Sheffield for the protest

Two students from High Storrs Socialist Group commented: “We’re here today to oppose one of the most draconian pieces of legislation in our lifetime. It comes on the back of 10 years of Tory oppression and the mishandling of the pandemic.”

Two young women, who were helping to lead the chanting but stressed they were not organisers, said: “We just want to protect our right to protest, which is part of our human rights. We are also defending the rights of the Roma and traveller communities to live without persecution” – the legislation increases police powers against ‘unauthorised encampments’.

One of the organisers of city Black Lives Matters protests last year was concerned that “people are not going to be able to express themselves on their own streets. Stop and search has been an issue in the black community –black people are more likely to be stopped than their counterparts”.

He said people in Broomhall had been particularly affected and worried the Bill could make things worse.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor