Police clashed with protesters in Bristol on Tuesday evening at another #KillTheBill demonstration, following a similar protest turned riot on Sunday night.
Leftist activists created a Bristol Autonomous Zone (BAZ) of sorts, similar to the notorious Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in the United States, with over 100 people attempting to set up tents at College Green in the city centre, protesting against Home Secretary Priti Patel’s proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Mounted police, dog handlers, and officers in riot gear clashed with the crowd in an effort to break up the gathering, using the pretext of violations of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. The action was also supported by a police helicopter and a police drone, according to the local news outlet the Bristol Post.
Fourteen people were arrested, one of whom was detained for alleged involvement in a leftist riot on Sunday.
Approximately 200 people attended the protest on Tuesday, the Avon and Somerset Police said in a statement.
Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said: “Officers had engaged with protestors and asked them to disperse, but tents and a sound system were set up so it was abundantly clear they were intent on remaining at the location, in spite of legislation in place to protect public health.
“After the scenes of violence witnessed in the city at the weekend, it was necessary to bring in additional resources from our neighbouring forces to ensure the protest was safely brought to a swift conclusion.”
Earlier tonight, far-left protesters gathered in #Bristol's city center again. A large group of police shut them down before any violence could break out again. At one point, a man attempts to dearrest a comrade but ends up pulling her dreadlocks. pic.twitter.com/DiMtKEJeej
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 23, 2021
Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the protest, saying: “Protests are unlawful right now and quite frankly we have just seen more criminality and violent behaviour, which is simply unacceptable.”
“Peaceful protest is totally different from what we’ve seen in Bristol,” she said, adding: “We live in a democracy and obviously we uphold the right to protest but we’re in the pandemic and I would urge people to continue to follow the rules and guidance.”
John Apter, the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales — a statutory union of sorts — claimed that his colleagues in the Bristol police force have felt “under siege”.
“I really feel for my colleagues in Bristol. There is a sense that you really feel under siege. And for some, whatever they [police officers] do, is not enough and for others, it’s too much.
“My colleagues are battered and bruised, in some cases physically. We’ve got a number of officers who were injured on Sunday evening, some very seriously.
During the riot on Sunday, some 21 police officers suffered injuries, including two officers who sustained broken bones.
WANTED: @ASPolice are asking the public for help in identifying suspects/people of interest in the violent far-left riot that occurred over the weekend in Bristol. Rioters punctured an officer's lung & broke bones. #Antifa are calling for more violence. https://t.co/mqbf41g6Ju pic.twitter.com/YVLUm6bHyY
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) March 23, 2021
The local police force has released images of nine people of interest in connection to the “investigation into the disorder which took place in Bristol on Sunday 21 March.”
So far, seven men have been arrested and released during the investigation, according to The Times.
Detective Chief Superintendent Carolyn Belafonte said that the force has already reviewed hundreds of hours of video from officer bodycams, CCTV footage, and videos submitted by members of the public.
“We expect to release images of many more people in the coming days and ask anyone who recognises anyone to contact us,” Belafonte said.
The protests and riots in Bristol have largely been excused by the mainstream press in Britain, with the BBC even releasing an article praising the city for its “rich timeline of resistance“.
In a notable example of so-called “resistance” last year, Black Lives Matter radicals tore down a historic statue of British philanthropist and parliamentarian Edward Colston, before dragging it through the streets and dumping it in the harbour while police did nothing.
Political commentator and veteran Antifa watcher Andy Ngo compared the south-west English port city to his native Portland in the United States, noting that Antifa groups in the United Kingdom expressed support for the riot.
“Bristol is nowhere near as bad or grim as my hometown. However, if British law enforcement continue to turn a blind eye to far-left political violence in the city, yesterday’s riots will indeed become a daily norm. Antifa are already calling for it to become so,” Ngo warned on Monday.
WATCH: Anarchy in the UK – Leftist Mob Torches Police Van, Attacks Officers in Chaotic Bristol Protest https://t.co/m0B5JVSa7x
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 22, 2021
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka