Dozens turn up for Todmorden ‘Kill the Bill’ demo

Protests took place in Todmorden on Saturday, aimed at the new Police Bill and global racism.

Dozens of protesters marched through Centre Vale Park to the police station in the town centre on Saturday morning, protesting the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Protestors held up signs saying “Burn the Tories”, “The revolution will not be criminalised” and “You’ve gotta fight for your right to protest”.

One unmasked woman was seen with an “End the Lockdown” sign.

There were also small demonstrations across the town to mark World Against Racism day, with demonstrators taking a knee to protest global racism.

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On social media, reaction to the ‘Kill the Bill’ protests was mixed.

A supporter of the protests said: “I was there to support it. We were reminded to keep socially distanced and most people wore masks. It is also true that the risks from Covid 19 is much much less outside.”

“It lasted one hour walking around the main path of the park.

“We were protesting at the new Police and Crime Bill going through parliament which restricts rights to protest. Many of our rights (such as giving women the right to vote) have been won through protest.”

One Facebook user did not support the protests and said: “If people had the decency to protest without causing issues for other people (such as road users), then this might not have even been a thought.

“It has been brought on by Extinction Rebellion protesters holding mass gatherings in the middle of roadways completely unannounced.

“Nothing says that our rights to protest will be removed, just that any protests should be managed safely. I don’t see the problem.”

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill is a controversial piece of proposed legislation brought forward by the Home Office which aims to overhaul the justice system.

Opponents of the Bill claim that it suppresses the right to protest peacefully.

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Gracie Bradley, Director of the pressure group Liberty, said: “Parts of this Bill will facilitate discrimination and undermine protest, which is the lifeblood of a healthy democracy.

“We should all be able to stand up for what we believe in, yet these proposals would give the police yet more powers to clamp down on protest.

“They risk stifling dissent and making it harder for us to hold the powerful to account.”

There were violent protests in Bristol against the bill on Saturday, which were condemned by Halifax MP Holly Lynch.

Ms Lynch said: “Thinking of those attacked whilst trying to do their jobs this evening. Utterly unacceptable.”

YorkshireLive – Halifax