LONDON-Thousands of people protested comprehensive crime and policing bills in several cities in England and Wales on Saturday. Some people in London clashed with police in scenes that could further exacerbate anger. National debate on British law enforcement strategies.
The police said that in London, demonstrators marched peacefully from Hyde Park in central London to Parliament Square, but the party fought with officers that night and arrested 26 demonstrators. The Metropolitan Police said in a statement on Saturday night that ten policemen were also slightly injured. He added that the number of arrests may increase.
Among several controversial measures in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, there are provisions that allow the police to prohibit unauthorized camps and detain demonstrators if the assembly is considered a “public hazard.” New legislation that is yet to be considered by Parliament may also impose noise restrictions and set the start and end time of demonstrations.
Saturday’s standoff took place amid growing tensions between police and demonstrators throughout Europe. In the past year, protesters protested at “Black Lives Matter,” anti-blockade rallies, and clashed with the police over similar security laws in France and other countries.
Human rights organizations warn against increasing police interference with such protests and regard the arbitrary detention of protesters in countries such as France, Croatia and Bulgaria as a worrying trend.
The Berlin-based European Civil Liberties Union stated in a report published last month: “No EU country is immune to the threat of democracy, so more concrete measures are urgently needed to restore worrying trends.”
In England and Wales, last month’s new policing bill became the focus of the nation’s attention, as the police carried out an investigation for Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old woman who was murdered after she went missing in South London on March 3. After the peace alert.
Although the vigil was officially cancelled due to the restrictions of the pandemic, thousands of people still showed up. The police force tried to disperse the demonstrators and pinned some women to the ground. The scene was shocking and caused widespread criticism, including London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
An official investigation conducted last week showed that the officials acted appropriately.
The inspection team leader, Matt Parr, said of the Metropolitan Police: “After reviewing a lot of evidence (not social media snapshots), we found that the Metropolitan Museum could do better.”
“But we did not find any hint that police officers acted in an orderly and proportionate manner in harsh environments.”
Saturday’s clashes may intensify the ongoing debate about the excessive use of force by the country’s police. Several recent controversies in London have shaken the country’s police over use of force in London. Metropolitan Police Chief Cressida Dick admitted last year that her force was “not free of racism and discrimination,” and Mr. Khan vowed to make the police more diverse to better represent the population of London.
Unlike the vigil organized for Ms. Everard last month, the protests in England and Wales are now legal as long as the event organizers conduct a risk assessment and take measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Several politicians from the Labor Party participated in a march in central London on Saturday, which led to a confrontation with the police. Former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn wrote on Twitter after speaking at the meeting: “We will always defend the right to protest against injustice.”
In the evening, the protesters yelled and clashed with police forces while trying to disperse them.
Commander Ade Adelekan said in a statement on Saturday night that most demonstrators abide by the rules of social evacuation and leave at the request of the police. He added that the police arrested the protesters after a few refused to obey the order.
Adelekan said: “We are still in the midst of a global pandemic and have made great strides in controlling the spread of the virus.” “We do not allow the selfish behavior of a few people to put the progress of Londoners in danger.”