THE organisers of the ‘Kill the Bill’ march in Falmouth yesterday have issued a statement laying out the reasons why they were protesting.
Over 100 people marched through the town and gathered on The Moor at 2pm yesterday afternoon for the protest organised by Kill the Bill Cornwall group and coincided with other protests across the country in Brighton, Manchester, Bristol and Bath.
Speeches were given on The Moor. Picture Bobby Angelove
They were protesting against the Police, Crime and Sentencing Bill bill which puts forward a range of changes to enforcement and sentencing in both England and Wales and was recently voted through parliament. It is currently going through the committee stage where its clauses and any amendments will be debated.
Porotestors make their feelings known at the march. Picture Bobby Angelove
The bill includes giving the home secretary, Priti Patel, powers to create laws that can define “serious disruption” to communities and organisations, which could then be used by police forces to impose conditions on protests, including if they are too noisy. It also includes a clause to sentence someone who defaces a statue to ten years in prison.
The protest went through the centre of town. Picture Bobby Angelove
In a statement issued to the Packet, the group said bill poses a threat to the country’s democracy.
“This is evident, and this is truly terrifying to so many of us. We want to make this very clear: we do not take the decision to protest lightly. We do not want to be out in the street fighting against authoritarian policies in the middle of lockdown, but we feel we have no choice.
A speaker at the Kill the Bill protest Falmouth. Copyright-J.M.Photography/Jory Mundy
“It is not only Cornwall that continues to stand in opposition. It is every county, every city and every town in the UK that is feeling both the urgency and importance of this united movement. There has been a national call to build resistance to this bill, and the Cornish opposition to it so far has been incredible.
There was a jolly atmosphere at the protest. Picture Bobby Angelove
“We have seen police attack peaceful protestors this past week. We have seen videos of police attacking journalists, hitting young female peaceful protestors with riot shields, and using batons to beat people sat down in the street peacefully.
A speaker at the Kill the bill protest Falmouth. Copyright-J.M.Photography/Jory Mundy
“We protest the proposal of these draconian laws, and we stand united in solidarity with all those who oppose this bill.
“We will continue to build on this movement – we refuse to back down or to be silent.
“We know that killing this bill is essential if we are to preserve our democratic right to protest.”
A lot of people were angry with the Home Secretary Priti Patel. Picture Bobby Angelove
Local woman Sarah explained why she was at the protest: “It’s right to protest, and our right to protest peacefully and most peaceful protests are made difficult and non-peaceful by the police actions and if they put this bill through and silence the people’s voices, then we are not living in a democracy, ” she said
Despite the country still being in lockdown until March 29 there was only a small police presence. A member of the Police Liaison team who said they were there to work with protest for the event, during the event and after the event, and work with whoever the organisers are, “They haven’t identified themselves, so it is what is really,” they said.
There was a small police presence at the peaceful protest. Picture Bobby Angelove
Sergeant Whitehouse from Devon and Cornwall Police said:“ Well It seems it is peaceful enough, obviously there is a lot of mix in there.”
A protest in Bristol turned violent last week with a police station attacked and vehicles set on fire. However a claim by police that officers had suffered broken bones was later retracted.