‘They’re not going home – so we’re changing tactics’: Behind police lines as Bristol grips with violence | UK News

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 'They're not going home - so we're changing tactics': Behind police lines as Bristol grips with violence |  UK News


“They’re not going home – so we’re going to change tactics. ”

The words of a senior police official as we waited behind the police lines – five hours after the start of the last protest in Bristol.

A few minutes later, as we were filming the protesters side of the front line of the mounted police, the push started.

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Protesters erupted on various roads – and some intended to clash with officers

The dispersion was powerful, direct and chaotic.

Police dogs surrounded the few hundred remaining protesters as officers in full riot gear pushed the line forward, in a bid to keep crowds away from Bridewell Police Station.

The tactic worked – but not quickly.

Protesters erupted on various roads – and some intended to clash with the officers.

“They have blood on their hands,” one protester shouted at me.

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Hundreds of people gather for the “Kill The Bill” demonstration

Chants of “Our Streets” and “Kill the Bill” echoed throughout the night in the downtown protest.

What had started as a friendly demonstration of several thousand people at 4 p.m. ended with 500 to 750 demonstrators who, despite heavy rains, were determined to stay to protest their anger at the police bill and criminality.

The dispersal continued to push us and the protesters down The Horsefair.

At one point, the mounted officers proceeded at a pace fast enough to force the protesters to turn and run.

And then, within 45 minutes of the change in police tactics, the large crowd was gone.

Small handfuls march through the night, as riot officers stand guard in various streets and alleys.

There are reports of new protests planned this weekend
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There are reports of new events planned for this weekend

It was the third night of disruption Bristol has experienced this week.

There are reports of new protests planned this weekend.

The hope now is that the violent clashes between the police and the public will not become a regular occurrence, in a city which is quickly becoming notorious for protest.

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