March 22, 2021
Yesterday Bristol erupted into rioting in what is likely to amount to the first instance of new forms of resistance to the draconian Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. Following on social media it was hard to tell exactly what was transpiring outside the images of objectively cool people doing kickflips in front of burning cop cars and, well, so many burning cop cars.
That this happened in Bristol is perhaps unsurprising, but it could also have happened anywhere. There is popular anger against the police, both for a serving police officer allegedly murdering Sarah Everard and for the attack on the freedom to protest. There have been vigils and marches across the country, attended by thousands. A petition organsied by the Network for Police Monitoring has attracted near 300,000 signatures in the past week. As local radical outlet Alternative Bristol notes:
After a tough winter of lockdown & covid stress, many see the Tory move to introduce the Bill as outright cynical, and an attempt to turn temporary coronavirus restrictions into something more permanent whilst the people remain resticted by the lockdown. The last couple of weeks have seen simmering anger at the Government, and the police. Tonight that exploded, and it happened to be in Bristol, but could have been anywhere.