Jeremy Corbyn speaks to crowds as tens of thousands of Kill the Bill activists march on London

Jeremy Corbyn has spoken to crowds in Parliament Square as tens of thousands of Kill the Bill activists have descended on London with police braced for a weekend of chaos.

Demonstrators have gathered in Hyde Park today chanting, banging drums and waving placards daubed with Kill The Bill slogans. 

The former Labour leader stood next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi as he addressed the rally, describing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a ‘very dangerous, slippery slope’ and defending the right to protest. 

He said: ‘If we don’t protest, things don’t change’, which drew cheers and applause from onlookers. Close by, anti-lockdown demonstrators staged their own protest, supported by Mr Corbyn’s brother, Piers. 

A separate group in Parliament Square was seen demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including ‘educate your sons’ and ‘misogyny is the virus’, chanting ‘women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care’. 

Three Kill the Bill protestors unfurled a banner which read ‘Kill Cops’ and held aloft the incendiary message outside the Houses of Parliament – just 50 metres away from where PC Keith Palmer was stabbed to death in 2017.

The ‘national weekend of action’ has spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol and Manchester. 

In Norwich, Kill The Bill graffiti was daubed on a city centre war memorial during the lunchtime demonstration.

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021, which would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance.  

Protesting is now legal in England following a change in Covid-19 lockdown rules which came into force on Monday, but organisers are required to submit risk assessments and ensure social distancing.

The rallies come as Covid deaths fall to their lowest in six months with the UK recording 10 fatalities, bringing the total to 126,826, and another 3,423 new infections. 

Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a 'very dangerous, slippery slope' and defended the right to protest

Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a 'very dangerous, slippery slope' and defended the right to protest

Former leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn addressed crowds gathered in Parliament Square as he described the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill as a ‘very dangerous, slippery slope’ and defended the right to protest

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

Thousands of activists have descended on London (pictured) as police brace for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the ‘national weekend of action’ has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

There have been a number of Kill The Bill protests held in recent weeks to show opposition to the Government’s proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Protestors in Newcastle

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the 'national weekend of action' that has spread around the country

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the 'national weekend of action' that has spread around the country

Protestors in Parliament Square (pictured) gathered as part of the ‘national weekend of action’ that has spread around the country

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade - often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations - have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade - often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations - have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

Protestors, including environmental protest group the Red Brigade – often seen at Extinction Rebellion demonstrations – have gathered at Hyde Park today (pictured)

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including 'educate your sons' and 'misogyny is the virus'

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including 'educate your sons' and 'misogyny is the virus'

A separate group in Parliament Square (pictured) were demonstrating with anti-sexism slogans, including ‘educate your sons’ and ‘misogyny is the virus’ 

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the 'national weekend of action' has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

But the ‘national weekend of action’ has also spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool (pictured) and Manchester

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions.  

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join ‘kill the bill’ rallies in London and other towns and cities including Manchester, Leeds, Brighton and Bristol.

‘As protest is criminalised and our fake democracy is pushed further towards authoritarianism, we seek to find where we can come together with other movements to tackle the common causes that affect us all,’ said Alanna Byrne from environmental group Extinction Rebellion. 

Days of protests by the group paralysed parts of London in early 2019, action which helped fuel calls from some politicians for the police to be given the tougher powers to prevent excessive disruption. 

Another demonstrator, Mark Duncan, added: ‘The government are trying to curtail protests – especially BLM and XR – that is what this bill is all about. We want the clauses in this bill about protests quashed.’ 

Organisers reminded protestors to stay socially distanced on this ‘national weekend of action’ as they attempted to control the crowds. 

The Metropolitan Police have since said: ‘The majority of people at today’s events in Central London have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation.

‘A small minority are blocking the road at Parliament Square. Officers are on scene engaging and encouraging them to move so we can reopen the roads.’  

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a 'Kill the Bill' protest against the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

The former leader of the Labour Party is pictured addressing the crowd during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in Parliament Square, London, today

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a 'Kill the Bill' protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a 'Kill the Bill' protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

Mr Corbyn stood by a statue in front of crowds during a ‘Kill the Bill’ protest at Parliament Square in London on Saturday

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The ex-Labour leader seen wearing a face mask after speaking to protestors next to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi at a Kill the Bill protest in Parliament Square

The Metropolitan Police have since said: 'The majority of people at today's events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation'

The Metropolitan Police have since said: 'The majority of people at today's events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation'

The Metropolitan Police have since said: ‘The majority of people at today’s events in Central London (pictured) have tried to adhere to social distancing and Covid legislation’

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this 'national weekend of action' as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this 'national weekend of action' as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Organisers reminded demonstrators to stay socially distanced on this ‘national weekend of action’ as they attempted to control the crowds. Pictured: Protestors in Reading

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

Police have braced for weekend of chaos with more rallies set to take place in towns and cities across the UK. Pictured: Protests in Brighton

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

Protests and demonstrations were expected across England this weekend on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Protestors in London

There have been a number of 'Kill The Bill' protests held to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today

There have been a number of 'Kill The Bill' protests held to show opposition to the Government's proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today

There have been a number of ‘Kill The Bill’ protests held to show opposition to the Government’s proposed Police, Crime , Sentencing and Courts Bill 2021. Pictured: Crowds in central London today 

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted 'women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care'

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted 'women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care'

The group that gathered in Parliament Square (pictured), London, chanted ‘women scared everywhere, police and Government do not care’

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join 'kill the bill' rallies in London (pictured)

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join 'kill the bill' rallies in London (pictured)

On Saturday, activists, climate change campaigners, and the Black Lives Matter movement said they would join ‘kill the bill’ rallies in London (pictured)

A Met Police spokesman also told MailOnline: ‘Officers have been on the ground throughout the day engaging and encouraging those present to adhere to the current Covid legislation. There have been no arrests so far.’ 

But the ‘national weekend of action’ spread beyond the capital to cities including Newcastle, Liverpool, Brighton and Manchester.

Several hundred people gathered beneath Grey’s Monument in Newcastle for a similar Kill the Bill protest with a low-key response from Northumbria Police.

Protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill as another attendee held up a placard saying: ‘We will not be silenced.’ 

The crowd has since made its way through the city centre chanting: ‘Whose streets, our streets’ and ‘F*** Priti Patel’.

Many took the knee at the Civic Centre and held a minute’s silence for victims of oppression, after which a round of applause broke out. 

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of 'stay at home' lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Protests and demonstrations were expected this weekend across England on what is forecast to be a is the first to benefit from the easing of ‘stay at home’ lockdown restrictions. Pictured: Rally in Bristol

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey's Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey's Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

Earlier today several hundred people gathered beneath Grey’s Monument in Newcastle (pictured) for a similar Kill the Bill protest

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

There was a low-key response to the city centre gathering from Northumbria Police and protesters cheered as a singer with a guitar performed in opposition to the proposed bill

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: 'Whose streets, our streets' and 'F*** Priti Patel'

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: 'Whose streets, our streets' and 'F*** Priti Patel'

The crowd (pictured) has since made its way through Newcastle city centre chanting: ‘Whose streets, our streets’ and ‘F*** Priti Patel’

Can protests take place in England under Covid rules?

Britons are permitted to gather in groups larger than six for the purpose of ‘Covid-secure protests’ under updated lockdown rules.

The guidance had previously outlawed any large gatherings, meaning the previous three Bristol rallies weren’t permitted under Covid restrictions.

However, an update which came into force on Monday allows people to gather in larger groups for protest if the organiser has ‘taken the required precautions’.

This includes completing a risk assessment for the gathering. 

The updated guidance reads: ‘You may gather in larger groups… for the purpose of Covid-secure protests or picketing where the organiser has taken the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment.’ 

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Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre.

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter’s Square where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: ‘All cops are b*******’ and ‘Our streets’.

The march was largely peaceful with the exception of one teenage protester jumping on top of a blue McLaren sports car before banging on the roof. He was held by police but later let go. 

The protesters then gathered on the steps of Manchester Crown Court and chanted: ‘No justice, no peace.’

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards.

Nurse Matthew Hampson, 53, had earlier told the crowd: ‘Nurses are not just angry about the proposed one per cent pay cut, they are enraged.

‘We need to protest, that is why we need to stop this Bill.’ 

The rally, watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot, took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre.

The order gives police the power to tell a person engaged in anti-social behaviour, or who is likely to engage in anti-social behaviour, to leave a specified area – but it expired at 3pm.

It was imposed following an illegal rave in the city centre as well as 18 people being arrested at last week’s Kill the Bill protest in Manchester.

Protesters had sat on tram tracks and police had to apologise after one woman’s underwear was exposed when she was dragged away.

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

Meanwhile, more than 400 Kill The Bill protesters today marched through Manchester city centre (pictured) watched by police in Tactical Aid vehicles as well as officers on foot

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The rally in Manchester city centre (pictured) took place under a 48-hour police dispersal order for the entire city centre

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

The protestors included animal rights, environmental and LGBT campaigners and waved a range of Socialist Worker Party Kill the Bill, Black Lives Matter and Trans Rights Now placards

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter's Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: 'All cops are b*******' and 'Our streets'

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter's Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: 'All cops are b*******' and 'Our streets'

They halted traffic as they walked from St Peter’s Square, Manchester (pictured), where they had held an hour-long rally as they shouted: ‘All cops are b*******’ and ‘Our streets’

Elsewhere, around 300 protestors gathered outside Norwich City Hall as part of the country-wide demonstrations.

The protest passed off peacefully with a handful of police officers observing the event from a distance but graffiti carrying the Kill The Bill was daubed on the city’s war memorial.

The protests have been sparked by the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill would toughen measures officers can take to disperse demonstrations, such as imposing time and noise limits, which campaigners and activists fear would be used to curb dissent.

Since the bill was brought before parliament last month, there have been sporadic protests, notably in Bristol, southwest England, where demonstrations turned violent with officers and a police station bombarded with bricks and glass bottles, and police vehicles set on fire.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson criticised what he described as ‘disgraceful attacks’ on officers, but protesters have accused police of using heavy-handed tactics.   

Demonstrations had not been permitted while a coronavirus lockdown was in place, but restrictions were eased this week, meaning organised rallies can go ahead providing they are ‘COVID secure’.

In London, police warned, ‘enforcement action will be taken, if needed, in the interests of public health’.

Some senior officers have said the ‘kill the bill’ tag was deliberately provocative as ‘the bill’ is a nickname in Britain for the police. 

Link hienalouca.com

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