UK: Thousands March against Lockdown Restrictions and the Police Bill



By Laurence Humphries, RCIT Britain, 31st March 2021,




On Saturday March 20th thousands of people mainly young people marched and demonstrated against the Lockdown which stipulates that only 6 people can meet. The Johnson government is using the Lockdown to keep people locked up and prevent social unrest and restrict people’s right to legally peacefully demonstrate against these draconian and anti-democratic attacks. The capitalist state is preparing a move towards creating an authoritarian regime. This government has made no effort to cure or stop the virus but has used it as a cover to expand a police and surveillance state and to remove basic democratic rights.


“Thousands of people have marched through central London under a heavy police presence to protest against lockdown measures, and more than 30 were arrested. Demonstrators gathered at Speakers’ Corner by Hyde Park at about midday where anti-lockdown figurehead Piers Corbyn gave a speech saying he would “never take a vaccine” and falsely claiming that the scale of deaths from Covid was not dissimilar to those from flu each year. As police surrounded him and detained a handful people as they ordered demonstrators to disperse, the crowd then marched out of the park and through London from Marble Arch.” [1]


Many of the crowd marching held placards displaying progressive messages including Lockdown leads to homelessness, poverty, despair and suicide amongst a number of people suffering from mental health problems which the Johnson government has done nothing to alleviate. There were a number of scuffles as the police used aggressive tactics to prevent any peaceful demonstrations. People are angry because they know that the Lockdown is not in place to cure the pandemic but as a cover to attack basic democratic rights. Naturally, police present themselves as victims of “violent demonstrators”.


“London police arrested dozens of people on Saturday (March 20) after thousands turned out in the British capital to protest against ongoing coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with the city’s police force in the spotlight over its officer’s conduct after a series of recent incidents. The Metropolitan Police Service said it had made 36 arrests, most for breaching months-old virus regulations that outlaw leaving home except for a limited number of reasons. Several thousand people were estimated to have gathered for the demonstrations, which began on Saturday lunchtime at Hyde Park. After the crowd marched through central London, a group of around 100 returned to the park where police said they threw missiles at officers. “Several were injured as a result of targeted assaults,” said Deputy Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor, who led the policing operation.” [2]


“Thirty-six people have been arrested during a protest by anti-lockdown campaigners in central London. Most of the arrests were for breaching COVID-19 regulations, Scotland Yard said. Officers were forced to run back to their vans as protesters threw bottles and cans at them in Hyde Park.” [3].




The New Police and Crimes Bill




The New Police Bill which is being rushed through Parliament is an attempt by the Johnson government to curtail any sort of peaceful protest, further evidence of eroding democratic rights in Britain. After protests by Extinction rebellion and the Black Lives Matter, Priti Patel Johnsons Home Secretary wanted to find ways to curtail free speech and legislate against any sort of protest. The Bill gives the police the right to insist on start and finish time of any protest. There are restrictions on localities and making any undue noise. Fines can be imposed as much as £2500 per person and anyone breaking these regulations will be arrested and fined.


This police bill is related to the new spy cops bill which gives allows intelligence agents to penetrate any organisation legally, giving false names and if they commit any serious crime they will face no penalties of the law. Damaging statues and Memorials including everything from Trees to statues is forbidden. This is being directed at Black Lives Matter activists who have correctly challenged the statues of imperialist slavers who were responsible for slavery in the 18th century.




Demonstrations against the New Police Bill




Last week there were a number of demonstrations against the new Police Bill in London, Manchester and Bristol. People are angry about the decision by the Tories to curtail basic freedoms and rights. Globally the actions of the Tories are in line with most capitalist governments which under the cover of the pandemic are developing these new powers of bonapartist rule. The situation is like a powder keg and could explode at any time producing a possible pre-revolutionary situation.


“Violent protests erupted Sunday night in the British city of Bristol over a proposed police and crime bill that would create sweeping new restrictions on protests and grant broad new powers to the police. Video from the scene showed a police vehicle ablaze and protesters charging at the graffiti-strewn vehicle. One officer suffered a broken arm and another a broken rib, the authorities said. The “kill the bill” rally drew thousands of protesters in the southwest city, witnesses reported”. [4].


“The situation became violent when about 450 protesters targeted the city’s central New Bridewell police station. Three hundred officers were deployed to the scene. Local police said officers were pelted with stones and fireworks, leaving 20 injured, two seriously. Twelve police vehicles and the police station was damaged. The protest ended around 01:30 GMT on Monday”. [5]


Many of the capitalist politicians made much of the violence in Bristol over the Police and Crimes Bill but the capitalist state is armed to the teeth. It dishes out violence whenever it can and does kill people in the process. The pictures show that the police were armed with helmets, batons and tear gas if necessary. An authoritarian regime is in the making in Britain! All the demonstrators were trying to do was defend themselves. Anger and frustration is boiling up in Britain.


The RCIT at the very outset has fought the imposition of the Lockdown as a cover for the ruling class to attack democratic rights and to create a Bonapartist state, at the same time ensure that the masses and oppressed are locked up in their homes continue to suffer poverty, homelessness and exploitation. The RCIT has recognised that the COVID 19 pandemic is a serious virus, and it is only through an accountable nationalised health system under workers control that the virus can be brought under control. This will require a much-enlarged health system under proper workers control, managed by workers and health professionals.




For a Workers Government!




The new Police Bill which is being rushed through parliament by the Johnson Government has led to many demonstrations up and down the country in places like London, Manchester and Bristol. The RCIT fully supports these demonstrations which are in defence of democratic rights. The response of the ruling class to the crisis of capitalism and imperialism caused by the third depression and slump is to attack the right to peacefully demonstrate and prepare the way for a Bonapartist regime. Its aim, of course with the collusion of Keir Starmer and the Labour party, is to smash the working class and the oppressed. It is no accident that the Lockdown has the full support of Her Majesty’s loyal opposition the Labour party which under the leadership of Keir Starmer is now moving in the direction of becoming a bourgeois capitalist party. The RCIT has identified the bureaucracy of the Labour party and the Trade Union as well as many centrist groups as the Lockdown left. They have now effectively joined the bourgeoisie as their most loyal servants.


The RCIT in Britain puts forward the following transitional demands as part of a programme to abolish capitalism and establish Socialism.


* Nationalise the NHS under workers control! All Pharmaceutical companies must be nationalised without compensation so that necessary medication is for public use free on demand!


* For an enlarged health system in Britain with a massive campaign to recruit more health workers, to pay better wages and to allow carrying out their work with proper PPE Equipment and protective clothing.


* Defeat the new police, crimes and sentencing bill as well as the spy cops bill which are direct attacks on democratic rights.


* For armed defence guards organised in every community to protect the masses and exploited from fascists and police provocation.


* For Open Borders, no to racism and Islamophobia. Migrants to be given the right to practice their own religion and customs and speak their own Language without interference from the state.


* For a workersgovernment!


Join the RCIT and help to build the 5th International as part of a worldwide Revolutionary socialist movement.






1) Dozens of arrests as thousands march in London against Covid lockdown | London | The Guardian


2) Scuffles and arrests as anti-lockdown protesters march through London, Europe News & Top Stories - The Straits Times


3) COVID-19: Arrests at anti-lockdown protest in London as MPs call for restrictions ease for campaigners | UK News | Sky News


4) Bristol Riots: Protests Over U.K. Crime Bill Turn Violent - The New York Times (


5) UK: What is the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill? | United Kingdom News | Al Jazeera