Violent scenes which marred a “Kill the Bill” protest in Bristol that saw a police station attacked, officers injured and vehicles set alight have been widely condemned.
Home Secretary Priti Patel branded the scenes “unacceptable” and said “thuggery and disorder” would never be tolerated.
Bristol mayor Marvin Rees, who said he had “major concerns” about the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, condemned the thuggery but said the disorder would be used to justify the legislation.
Mass gatherings are currently banned under coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined.
Many who attended the protest on College Green were wearing face masks and carried placards, saying: “Say no to UK police state” and “Freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy” and “Kill the Bill”.
What started as a non-violent demonstration on Sunday afternoon turned violent after hundreds of protesters descended on the New Bridewell police station.
Nigel Farage also waded in with his thoughts on who was to blame for the scenes yesterday.
He Tweeted: “In Bristol tonight we see what the soft-headed approach to the anti-police BLM leads to. Wake up everyone, this is not about racial justice. These people want all-out anarchy and street violence.”
In Bristol tonight we see what the soft-headed approach to the anti-police BLM leads to.— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) March 21, 2021
Wake up everyone, this is not about racial justice.
These people want all-out anarchy and street violence. pic.twitter.com/pBXFL5Iy1Z
He bizarre claim that BLM protesters were behind the violence saw was called out on Twitter.
“What’s #BristolProtest got to do with #BlackLivesMatter? It’s only because UK is institutionally racist that you ALWAYS get away with using RACIST rhetoric to deflect & distract WHILE YOU FAN THE VIOLENT FLAMES OF #WhiteSupremacy You are a disgusting waste of space Nigel Farage.”
What's #BristolProtest got to do with #BlackLivesMatter? It's only because UK is institutionally racist that you ALWAYS get away with using RACIST rhetoric to deflect & distract— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) March 21, 2021
WHILE YOU FAN THE VIOLENT FLAMES OF #WhiteSupremacy
You are a disgusting waste of space Nigel Farage
Farage deliberately posting disinformation. These protests were about the removal of British people's right to peaceful protest. It's called “#KillTheBill”. The violence was separate to an earlier, peaceful, protest. When is @Twitter going to ban this peddler of disinformation? https://t.co/IuvlVuk8rm— Mike Butcher (@mikebutcher) March 22, 2021
Coming back to this because white racists love sprinkling BLM in their outrage tweets like coriander. Definition of rent FREE! https://t.co/6UEBmphQnS— White Man Bon Iver 🇮🇪 (@ChantayyJayy) March 22, 2021
The #KillTheBill protests haven’t even been about Black lives specifically, but the fact that you are trying to spin this narrative confirms what we already knew which is that you are certified racist, who incites other racists. Please, abeg, go fuck yourself. https://t.co/q1ocLubHHw— liza (@ItsLiza) March 21, 2021
What’s this got to do with BLM?— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) March 21, 2021
A group called the ‘Angry Foxes Cell‘ burned down a police training centre worth £16 million near Bristol in 2014.
You might not know it living in the London media bubble Nigel, but Bristol hits different. Always has. https://t.co/3LVIweKVAR
It’s got nothing to do with race, you idiot. https://t.co/oxrQC16O1r— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) March 22, 2021