Kill the Bill protesters clash with police at rally addressed by Jeremy Corbyn
A few hundred Kill the Bill protesters have clashed with police outside parliament after Jeremy Corbyn addressed the crowd.
The isolated skirmishes took place in the evening after extra officers were brought in to help unblock the road so a McDonald’s lorry that had turned into Parliament Square could continue on its way through London.
Projectiles were thrown as police pushed protesters away. At least one officer was injured in the scuffles.
A demonstrator was carried away by officers as police continued to face off with protesters outside Parliament.
Earlier, Mr Corbyn, the former Labour Party leader, addressed crowds condemning the introduction of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which will see officers handed more powers.
He said the proposed introduction of the news law was a “very dangerous, slippery slope” undermining the right to protest.
“If we don’t protest, things don’t change,” he said, which drew cheers and applause from the crowd.
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets in towns and cities across England in demonstrations against a crime bill.
Cities including Newcastle, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol saw thousands of people attend marches despite the lockdown restrictions.
In the capital protesters, including many who carried anti-sexism placards and chanted “women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care”, marched past Downing Street.
Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced as crowds grew to more than 300 in London’s Parliament Square, where speeches were made opposite the Houses of Parliament.
Several women addressed the crowd and shared personal experiences of suffering abuse and being drugged.
In a tweet he posted ahead of the demonstration, Mr Corbyn said the right to fight injustices and to give “a voice to those often unheard” is “once again under threat from a dangerous bill which effectively criminalises peaceful protest”.
He said: “The right to protest is precious. Protest movements make history, from the eight-hour working day to the vote for women to the right for equal pay, the rights we take for granted had to be won through protest. We took them – they weren’t handed to us by the rich and powerful.”
After hearing from several speakers from various women’s rights groups, demonstrators dispersed peacefully just after midday. However, a couple of hundred demonstrators remained in the area and blocked the route for McDonald’s lorry.
The Metropolitan Police said: “The majority of people at today’s events in central London have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation.
“A small minority are blocking the road at Parliament Square. Officers are on scene engaging and encouraging them to move so we can reopen the roads.”
Demonstrators had gathered in the city centre to show their opposition to the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which will see the police handed new powers to tackle demonstrations.
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