Coalition Leads Mass “Kill the Bill” Demonstrations Across the UK for Mayday
Friday, April 30, 2021
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Tens of thousands are set to attend 40 different ‘Kill the Bill’ rallies in cities across the UK on Saturday 1 May. The demonstrations are in protest against the government’s police powers Bill.
Events will kick off at 12:30 in Trafalgar Square, London, with simultaneous demonstrations planned across 40 different locations in the UK, including Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol, Cambridge, Sheffield and Edinburgh. This map displays the full list of protests this weekend. Online protests are also being conducted by Disabled People Against Cuts and IWGB.
This is the latest progression in the ‘Kill the Bill’ movement – a coalition of over 40 activist groups who have joined forces and taken to the streets since March to reject the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is due to resume its path through parliament in May. The groups are committed to disrupting the Bill’s progress through parliament at every stage and have lifted up the Bill’s attack on racialised communities, the right to protest, and on civil liberties.
Groups in the Kill the Bill coalition include Sisters Uncut, Black Lives Matter UK, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Socialists, Disabled People Against Cuts and Women’s Strike Assembly.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a 300-page piece of proposed law that seeks to increase police powers in terrifying ways. It will drastically impact the lives of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, give police expanded Stop and Search powers and criminalise the right to protest. Lawyers argue that this proposed legislation violates international law.
Dani Cane, a youth worker who plans to attend the protest on Saturday said:
“The police have repeatedly proven that they are drunk on power, and will always use violence against us, not just against the most vulnerable people they routinely target, but anyone who they deem to be not behaving in a way they approve of. It is vital that we prevent this bill from being passed in order to keep ourselves safe and resist the authoritarian abuse of state power. We must be able to hold the police accountable for the violence they relentlessly cause.”
An anonymous member of Sisters Uncut said:
“The police powers bill should be scrapped entirely. It is authoritarian in tone and in nature, and will lead to more abuse of police powers. It will take a mass movement to force it to be thrown out of parliament.
If this police powers bill becomes law, we will see even more police violence – against people who speak up against injustice, and specifically against Black, Muslim and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.”
Jess Sharp, a domestic violence worker who plans to attend the protest on Saturday said:
“It has felt like every single day since Sarah Everard was murdered, more stories of horrific police violence have come out. The police are bullies and perpetuate endless violence, giving them more power puts us at more risk and so we cannot allow this bill to pass”.
Kill The Bill weekend of action
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Over the past two weeks we have seen the explosion of a national movement against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. People across the UK have taken to the streets to say: no more police powers – the Police Crackdown Bill must be stopped. In this short space of time, we have gained some big wins, including forcing the government to delay the Bill through Parliament, instead of quietly rushing it through like they had originally planned to do.
Amazingly, and unsurprisingly, this movement has rapidly grown way beyond us.
This weekend, people across the UK are once again taking to the streets to demand that the government #KillTheBill. There have been demos called across the country throughout the weekend including one in London on Saturday, April 3rd.
We are calling for a National Day of Action on Sunday, April 4th: this is not a demonstration, but rather a series of small events and actions you can take from home. There is more information on this below.
We know that not everyone can, or wants to, go to demonstrations. The actions below contribute to the movement and can be done from home. Our strength is in our numbers, and it is only through a national mass mobilisation that we will defeat the police powers bill. We already know the police are drunk on power, and they cannot be given more.
Although we are not leading on any demonstrations this weekend, we encourage those that do go out to do so safely: please follow COVID-safe protocols and check out Green and Black Cross’ website for advice on your rights when protesting. Remember to not go to or leave a demonstration alone, and if asked to do anything by a police officer, always ask: under what power?
This is a national movement and one that we are proud to be a part of. We have spent the past week reaching out to and organising with groups affected by the police powers bill – you can read our collective statement of solidarity here. This Bill affects communities differently, but is bad for all of us: it threatens our right to work, assemble, protest, and travel. This also means that we will need all of us to defeat it, this movement leaves no one behind.
Many of you have sent us posters, designs and more support over the last few weeks. We’re now putting these to use as part of our National Day of Action on 4th April 2021.
What can you do on 4th April?
- Use the resources available here to let your community know that you are part of the #KillTheBIll movement.
- Put a poster up in your window
- Flyer outside a busy spot (wearing masks and observing social distancing)
- Post flyers through all your neighbour’s letterboxes
- Put up posters in your community
- Share your posters online using the hashtag #KillTheBill
- Set aside some time to read more about the Policing, Crime Sentencing and Courts bill.
Part of the government’s strategy is to let time pass in the hopes that we forget about the bill. We will not let this happen. We are asking that everyone, in their cities, towns, and villages call their local radio stations to say: do not give more powers to the police.
- You can find your local digital radio station here.
- Here are some talking points:
- The police are drunk on power and should not be given more
- You are concerned about the Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that is moving through parliament, and want it to be scrapped entirely.
- The events at the Clapham vigil and at demonstrations over the last few weeks are a dangerous indication of what the future of protest will look like if the police powers bill moves through parliament.
- The police powers bill will give police increased power to threaten, intimidate and use violence against Gypsy and Traveller communities – including give them permission to seize their property (which includes homes)
- The police powers bill will increase stop and search powers, which already discriminate against marginalised communities
We are letting the government know: we will make this bill unenforceable in the streets. This is just the beginning. We will #KillTheBill.