Conservative backbenchers have claimed the bill is a response to the rising direct action of Extinction RebellionLucas Madallena

Content note: brief mentions of police violence

Graffiti encouraging people to “resist anti-trespass” has been spotted on buildings in Jesus Green and the Market Square.

The graffiti is a response to the section of the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that threatens the lawfulness of “unauthorised encampments” and makes it illegal to reside without authorisation “on land” with a vehicle. People who fail to comply could face up to three months imprisonment or a maximum £2,500 fine.

It is argued that the bill threatens the legitimacy of some Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller communities. The graffiti in the Market Square asks for “solidarity with travellers.”

The bill, which passed its second reading in the House of Commons this evening by 359 votes to 263 votes,  will “strengthen police powers to tackle non-violent protests that have a significant disruptive effect on the public or on access to Parliament.”

A press release from the Government further claims the new bill aims to ensure that “punishments will reflect the severity of crimes with police given stronger powers to protect themselves.”

The bill has already been subject to a substantial amount of protest, with Cambridgeshire Live reporting that a protest was organised in Cambridge on Monday (15/03) in response to the “anti-protest” legislation.

The organisers of the protest on Monday cited a petition from the Network for Police Monitoring that states: “We are opposing planned changes to the law that threaten our right to protest and are calling on other organisations and individuals to join us [...] We are demanding police respect existing international human rights standards – or explain why they refuse to do so.”

Protests against the Bill have also ensued in London over the past few days. Crowds gathered on Sunday (14/03) to protest in light of the ‘completely unacceptable’ policing of a vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common over the weekend. Protesters met outside New Scotland Yard and marched to Parliament Square with chants of “‘Kill the Bill.’”

The violent policing at the Sarah Everard vigil have also prompted demands for the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick, chief of the Metropolitan Police. Dick has insisted that she will not resign, stating that recent events have made her “more determined, not less, to lead [the] organisation.


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Meanwhile, crowds gathered on Westminster Bridge on Monday evening (15/03) as the Bill was being debated in parliament. They marched towards Trafalgar Square, with the Metropolitan Police encouraging people to go home “for everyone’s safety.’

Alongside these protests, the bill has been met with warnings from over 150 organisations, including charities and faith communities, while the Labour party promised to oppose the bill, proceeding to criticise officers’ handling of Saturday’s vigils, The Guardian reported.

One Conservative backbencher contested that the bill was responding to protests by Extinction Rebellion and covered a large variety of issues. The Home Office also added that the bill was necessary in light of the “highly disruptive tactics used by some protesters.”