Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has attacked Bristol protesters in strong terms following a third night of clashes in the southwestern English city.
According to multiple reports, more than 1,000 protesters were rallying in Bristol city center before police moved in force to disperse the crowds.
As police violence escalated the protesters reportedly launched fireworks at the Avon and Somerset Police’s mounted division.
Johnson condemned the protesters’ action as “disgraceful” and claimed a “mob” was “intent on violence” by throwing “bricks, bottles and fireworks” at the police.
The PM did not mention heavy-handed police tactics which had drawn a robust response from the protesters.
The protesters are incensed at the Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which gives the police and the broader criminal justice system sweeping powers to crack down on so-called “disruptive” protests.
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, joined the PM in misrepresenting the protests as “disorder” and the protesters as “thugs” before condemning the “violence being directed towards the police”.
For their part, Avon and Somerset Police are flagging up coronavirus restrictions to deter further protests scheduled for the remainder of the weekend.
Despite the establishment’s apparently coordinated campaign to paint the protesters as thugs and criminals, at least one mainstream journalist has highlighted the gratuitous violence directed at protesters by the Avon and Somerset Police.
Daily Mirror journalist, Matthew Dresch, posted a tweet describing the police violence meted out to him despite the fact he told officers he was a media worker.
Police assaulted me at the Bristol protest even though I told them I was from the press. I was respectfully observing what was happening and posed no threat to any of the officers. I have muted the latter part of the video to spare you all the pain of hearing my shrill voice. pic.twitter.com/a7a0Nnw0bG— Matthew Dresch (@MatthewDresch) March 27, 2021