At least ten people have been arrested in the western English city of Bristol in new protests against a controversial police law. Chaots attacked the emergency services with bottles, bricks and eggs, the police said on Saturday night. Fireworks were thrown at mounted officers and a police horse was sprayed with paint, it said.
It was the third demonstration within a week in the port city that resulted in violence. The new police law is intended to give the emergency services far-reaching powers to act against peaceful demonstrations.
More than 1,000 people protested peacefully on Friday afternoon, the police said. Several hundred people then moved towards a police station that had been attacked during protests last Sunday. When the police tried to break up the crowd, the situation escalated.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticized the “shameful attacks” on officials. On Twitter, he spoke of a “mob that is intent on violence”. Interior Minister Priti Patel was “disgusted”.
The protest under the motto “Kill the Bill” is directed against the draft of a new police law. It is intended to give the police more powers to restrict peaceful protests if, for example, they constitute noise nuisance. Attacks on monuments are also to be punished more severely. The government is responding to protests on climate protection and against racism, in which the statue of a slave trader in Bristol was overturned last summer. Critics see the proposed law as an attack on freedom of assembly.