A sunny bank holiday weekend saw huge crowds turn out for a colourful Kill the Bill protest on Saturday.
The protest, Bristol’s fifth in two weeks, saw the biggest attendance since the first Kill the Bill protest on 21st March, with around 1,000 people marching through central Bristol.
Whilst previous demonstrations have been unorganized, Saturday saw a large number of individual groups and movements combine to protest together, with groups like Extinction Rebellion and some unions represented.
John, a teacher from Bristol, was representing the North Somerset National Education Union. He said they were there because ‘we recognise that this Bill…is going to massively impact on our ability as a union to organize’.
Saturday’s was also a more colourful protest, with many banners, flags, music, and a giant puppet of Home Secretary Priti Patel.
One of the crew behind the Priti Patel puppet said ‘we wanted to have something a bit more theatrical, a bit more fun, a bit more family friendly’ in contrast to the sometimes heated confrontations between demonstrators and police at previous Kill the Bill protests.
The mood on Saturday was markedly different to previous protests, with some speculating that the protest on Tuesday (March 31st), which was entirely peaceful, had encouraged more people to join in on Saturday.
The march concluded on St Augustine’s parade at around 17:45, where demonstrators sat in the road and listened to speeches.
At 21:20 the remaining protesters set off on another march, this time taking in the Bearpit and the M32 before marching to Temple Meads and back to the centre via Redcliffe.
The protest ended around midnight, by which time a small group of people remained on St Augustine’s Parade to drink before being eventually cleared by police.