The peaceful protests will show Glasgow “standing in solidarity” with other areas across the UK opposing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill.
Peaceful protests challenging the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill introduced by Priti Patel last month are planned to take place this afternoon, Saturday 3 April, on the steps of Buchanan Galleries at 1pm.
This event is part of a larger “National Weekend of Action” where similar events are to take place across the country. Different areas plan to “stand in solidarity” against the controversial bill that could see serious changes in the way that protests will be allowed to take place.
Kill the Bill UK have outlined several ways for people to help stop the bill from going through, which include: taking part in “social media storms” to help the movement gain further publicity, providing personal experiences to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ call for evidence, or taking part in person at the protests happening today. More information can be found here.
The bill was formulated this year by Priti Patel, the UK’s home secretary, during the vigils held in memory of Sarah Everard, and following the Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion protests of 2020. The bill would allow a harsher crackdown on a variety of demonstrations, and its terms have been criticised as being vague and therefore allowing the police a significantly greater amount of power in stopping protests.
Adam Wagner, a renowned human rights barrister, stated in a series of three tweets earlier last month that: “The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill going through Parliament tomorrow would hugely expand their powers to allow them to stop protests which would cause ‘serious unease’ and create criminal penalties for people who cause ‘serious annoyance’. This would effectively put the current situation, where Covid regulations have given police too much power over our free speech rights, on a permanent footing.”
The Kill the Bill UK Twitter has outlined how the new bill may affect our lives in wider ways than expected: “The Bill isn’t just aimed at protests, but at any form of public assembly (defined as two or more people in a public place). Pride, Street Fairs, Parades etc could all fall into this category.” They went on to state in a further tweet that “racial bias would be excusable by law, further targeting marginalised groups, especially Black men and youths.”
The organisation’s Twitter also described how travellers would be affected: “criminalis[ing] the lifestyle of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the UK, rather than address[ing] the shortage of legal sites where they can settle”.
The bill has been passed by the House of the Commons and is currently awaiting the “Committee Stage” where each clause can be debated.
The Network for Police Monitoring has outlined guidance for those who may be approached by police during protests, which can be found here.
For more information on the Kill the Bill protests, the organisation can be found on Instagram at @killthebill_official or on Twitter, @kill_bill_uk.