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TRAVELLER activists led a “wall of sound” in protest at the Tory policing Bill outside the Conservative conference today.
The Police, Crime, Courts & Sentencing Bill threatens to place new criminal restrictions on protests and public assembly.
It has faced particular resistance from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities, as members could be criminalised by the Bill’s provision to outlaw “residing on land without consent in a vehicle.”
It also extends police powers to seize property such as caravans.
The Drive2Survive coalition of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller activists has been hosting a “Gypsy city” encampment in central Manchester for the duration of the Tory conference.
Today activists led a “wall of sound” outside the conference centre, and staged a street theatre production to highlight the impact of the Bill.
The protest was supported by the People’s Assembly, which has been organising a series of demonstrations outside the conference, across Manchester and Britain.
Jake Bowers, an activist with the Drive2Survive coalition, told the Star: “The Tory Party are hiding behind a ring of steel because they don’t like to see the results of their policies.
“The whole point about a wall of sound is that sound can travel through steel, so even if they don’t see us, they will hear us.
“The police Bill is a threat to our democracy and it’s a specific threat to Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities because it’s trying to outlaw our way of life.”
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