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The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Kill the Police Bill!

by New Worker correspondent

UNDER the guidance of Home Secretary Priti Patel one of Boris Johnson’s flagship pieces of legislation, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill has stirred up opposition on both the streets and even in some unexpected quarters in the House of Commons.

The controversial measure places new restrictions on the right to protest. This involves giving the police powers to set start and finish times, noise limits, and even more controversially restrict protests which are deemed to be a nuisance. As a bonus the police will have the discretion to decide what qualifies as breaches of the law, and those convicted of breaches can get up to £2,500 fines, or even 10 years in prison should they do something very serious such as damaging a statue. That is more than rapists get.


Unsurprisingly, the legislation has garnered criticism from a variety of opposition parties. The Labour Party is voting against the measure in Parliament. At the same time leader Sir Keir Starmer, who strongly denounced the actions of the police at the Clapham Common vigil took a time to denounce the protests in Bristol which saw a police station have its windows broken and police cars made ready for the scrap yard.

Starmer was clearly not looking to win the Anarchist vote when he said “Looking at the images last night, looking at the images again this morning, inexcusable, completely unacceptable and I hope that the perpetrators are identified and prosecuted where that’s appropriate”.

The Labour Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees took a similar view deploring those who broke away from the larger protest to smash up a police station. He warned that such scenes “will be used as evidence by those who want to support the Bill”.

Large scale protests at Westminster have passed off without incident. Revolutionary violence is all very well, but it needs hundreds of thousands of working class people involved and not just a few hundred breaking off to do their own thing.

Radical Feminist group Sisters Uncut blamed the police for provoking the violence saying “kettling, the use of batons and dispersal techniques such as horse charges are violent in both intent and effect adding that some protesters were violently arrested for merely shaking their heads at a police officer. Extinction Rebellion, who have been at the forefront of climate change protests denied any responsibility saying “There were no organisers of Sunday’s protest”.


Opposition to Patel’s proposals has come also come from one of her illiberal predecessors, former Home Secretary and Prime Minister Theresa May, famous in the former role for sending out the “Go Home” vans. She weighed in against the Bill in the Commons saying that she “would urge the government to consider carefully the need to walk a fine line between being popular and being populist”. Whether she will do anything so drastic as actually vote against it remains to be seen.

May said: “I do worry about the potential unintended consequences of some of the measures in the Bill which have been drawn quite widely. “Protests have to be under the rule of law, but the law has to be proportionate”. She added that “Our freedoms depend on it.” Which is all the more devastating coming from her.

This won’t be the first time. In 1936 the Tory Government passed the first Public Order Act which banned the wearing of political uniforms.

The left welcomed this as it prevented Sir Oswald Mosley’s fascists from wearing their customary blackshirts, but before the applause died down anyone wearing a red scarf on an anti-fascist demonstration found themselves getting their collars felt by the police.