Police arrested nine people who took part in protests in London on Saturday and demanded that the government reverse planned legislation that would increase police powers.
More than 1,000 people marched through central London shouting “Kill the Bill”
A police statement said nine people had been arrested and officers “continued to engage” with protesters who had gathered in a park in south London after the march.
Similar protests took place in other cities across England and Wales, including Bristol, which for several days witnessed clashes between protesters and police in March.
Under the new legislation, the UK government wants to increase police powers to block non-violent protests that have a “significant disruptive effect” on the public or parliament.
The legislation would target actions by groups such as the environmental campaign Extinction Rebellion, which has organized mass protests to block bridges in recent years and whose members have glued themselves to commuter trains.
London Tower Bridge was closed to traffic in one direction for about an hour on Saturday after an extermination riot demonstrator glued himself to the road.
Many protesters said on Saturday that they did not trust the police to protect them and that the new laws would give the authorities too much power to close politically awkward protests like those of the Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion.
“I’m really scared of the fact that they want to turn protests into an arrestable offense,” said 30-year-old therapist Jade Rea.
“I do not think there is any justification for that because the idea of a protest is to disrupt and really bring people’s awareness that there is something urgent,” she added.
London police faced criticism from across the political spectrum in March for their handling of a guard in memory of a murdered woman, Sarah Everard, whose suspected killer was a police officer.
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