More than 1,000 people gathered in the city center, but tensions rose at 10 p.m. last night, as officers wearing helmets and holding shields began calling on the crowds to disperse.
Half an hour later, Avon and Somerset Police confirmed arrests had been made, with the force warning: “We will not tolerate violent disorder. ”
And as midnight approached, the force confirmed that a “large number of people” remained at the scene – tweeting that its agents had the ability to use reasonable force to prevent crime, protect people and property ” .
They added: “We do not want to use force but we have a duty to uphold the law.”
Protesters could be heard chanting “Justice for Sarah” and “Who are you protecting?”, And some in attendance were seen dancing to music despite heavy rains.
A large police presence was on duty throughout the night, with horses and dogs to help keep the crowds back.
Rows of officers and vans were used to block protesters at Bridewell Police Station, where a number of police vehicles were set alight during scenes of violence last Sunday.
Officers previously urged people not to attend last night’s protest due to the risk of the spread of COVID-19.
Friday’s protest – which was against the government’s police, crime, sentencing and courts bill – had started peacefully and the crowd grew in size as the evening wore on.
The bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too loud or harmful.
Those convicted under the bill could face a fine or jail time.
Nine people were arrested in connection with last Sunday’s disorder in Bristol, while 15 others were detained following a second protest on Tuesday evening.
Earlier on Friday, the National Police Chiefs Council warned that violent protesters “will face the full weight of the law.”
Martin Hewitt added: “I would ask people planning to protest this weekend to think carefully and consider whether joining a large gathering outside, in the midst of a pandemic, and potentially being near the scene of violence, as we saw last weekend, is something that is harmless to them as individuals. ”
He also claimed that a number of people who attended the protest were “determined to provoke violence and cause damage” – and that those arrested were from “all over the UK”.
Mr Hewitt went on to confirm that one of those jailed following Sunday’s unrest was someone already on bail for assaulting police officers.