Medic gives protesters safety advice in wake of ‘nasty’ scenes

A volunteer medic has offered safety advice to protesters assembled on College Green in the wake of violent clashes at previous Kill the Bill demos in Bristol.

Around 100 people have now descended on College Green, the starting point for the fourth protest again the Police and Crime Bill which would give police and the Home Secretary increased powers to stop protests.

Previous demonstrations have resulted in violent clashes between police and protesters, and members of the public fear that could happen again tonight.

A volunteer medic, who spoke to a crowd as part of a series of speeches this evening, said: “We are doing our best to get organised, it is all pretty early days at the moment.

“I wanted to say a couple of things on how to keep yourself safer on these demos, there has been a few things and it has been really nasty as you have seen.

“The first thing, for the love of f****** God, don’t put milk in peoples’ eyes, it’s a really good way to get eye infections and I don’t know where the idea has come from that milk helps with CS gas, it doesn’t.”

People are campaigning against the proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would give police and the Home Secretary increased powers to stop protests.

It also makes a special new law to protect monuments and statues, in the wake of the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston, with the crime of damaging them punishable by up to ten years in prison.

Under new government proposals, trespass would become a criminal offence – rather than being a civil matter – in order to tackle unauthorised encampments, giving police the power to seize vehicles and arrest people who refuse to move.

Those breaking the new law on trespass could be fined up to £2,500 and could face a prison sentence of up to three months, but concerns have been raised by both academics and organisations that the new law will disproportionately affect travellers and more widely those living on roadside camps.

Under new laws which came into effect yesterday (March 29), peaceful protests can now go ahead. However, they are only allowed if organisers have made contact with police to ensure people’s safety is not put at risk. This includes campaigners wearing masks and socially distancing throughout the event.

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