Undod stands in solidarity with Gypsy Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities, and with the protestors in Bristol who have this past week been brutalised by police whilst resisting the Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. If passed, this legislation will take away the right to trespass, with devastating effect on the lives of nomadic Gypsy Roma and Traveller people. Police will be given the powers to seize vehicles, and penalties for trespass will be introduced, including fines of up to £2,500 and up to three months prison sentence. This will effectively criminalise the GRT way of life. We condemn this Bill, and stand in solidarity with all who oppose it.
We condemn attempts by Somerset and Avon police and the mainstream media to depict these protesters as violent rioters, including the lies (since retracted) about injuries sustained by police officers on the night of the 21st of March. Footage and first-hand accounts from protests in Bristol on the 21st and 26th of March clearly narrate peaceful protests which later turned violent in response to rising levels of police intimidation tactics. These tactics included the use of ‘kettling’, the disproportionate deployment of large numbers of riot police and mounted police, and inappropriate, unsafe and violent mis-use of police equipment such as the use of shields to ‘blade’ protestors (as is clearly shown in several pieces of video footage).
We are sickened by and strongly condemn the deployment of South Wales Police to the protest in Bristol.
We urge all those who are against the Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, to resist efforts to divide the movement by those who seek to demonise the Bristol protesters.
The events of recent weeks have made it abundantly clear that the police operate to protect the British State, not people and communities. Let us move beyond talk of reform, and instead build something new.
Undod are campaigning for an end to police brutality, and are working to build alternative systems of community accountability that can help us move towards a future where people are free of the damaging effects of violent, misogynist policing and the carceral system.
You can support Gypsy Roma and Traveller people by donating here
You can support protesters in Bristol by donating here