Police have seized amplifiers and audio system utilized by a long-running anti-Brexit protest outdoors the Home of Parliament, beneath a brand new anti-protest legislation pushed by by Priti Patel.
Steve Bray and his marketing campaign group have been a long-running fixture on the pavement on Parliament Sq. – blasting protest songs and confronting Tory MPs.
However on Tuesday police confiscated Mr Bray’s gear utilizing new powers within the authorities’s controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act – which took impact from midnight.
Round 15 officers this morning descended on the long-running demonstration, warning the protesters that in the event that they resisted they might be arrested.
Residence Secretary Priti Patel’s new legislation prolonged a “managed space” round parliament to incorporate Parliament Sq. and different facet streets, the place the protest has based mostly itself.
Police wasted no time to crack down on the dissenters, confiscating the gear simply 10 hours after they gained the powers to take action.
Talking after the incident, Mr Bray instructed The Unbiased: “They’re nearly to arrest me if I put the amp on once more.”
The demonstrator mentioned the clampdown was “completely unlawful”.
“Human rights have been outdated by crass Tory legal guidelines. Lots of this legislation was geared toward folks like me, XR (Extinction Rebel). It is surprising in a democracy with regards to this nevertheless it must be examined,” he mentioned.
And he added: “We’ll be going again on once more. We’ve had two warnings already. They’ve mentioned a 3rd time they will arrest me … (they’ve warned of) seizure of kit and arrest… If I put the amplifier again on. So I am gonna go along with an anti fascist track referred to as Bella Ciao.”
Requested if he was ready to be arrested, he mentioned: “Sure.” He added: “It isn’t simply sleepwalking right into a fascist state. It is right here. It is right here now.”
He mentioned his message for the house secretary was: “Up yours, Priti Patel. You’re a fascist. Go to hell Priti.”
It’s understood officers warned Mr Bray that if he continued to make use of the gear it will be seized, and that if he resisted, he could be arrested.
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courtroom Act is a sprawling piece of laws which human rights group Liberty has described as “a concerted assault on the correct to protest”.
In addition to extending the buffer zone round parliament, the invoice additionally restricts traveller encampments, provides police powers to disperse noisy protests, and cracks down on protesters taking direct motion.
One clause additionally provides police powers to ban disruptive one-man protesters, a clause which raised suspicions that the Residence Secretary was particularly focusing on Mr Bray.