Thousands of people have come out in Washington D.C to protest the Republican healthcare bill that could impact millions. The protesters are returning to their original positions on key issues such as abortion, Medicaid and preexisting conditions after reversing course following a last-minute deal reached by President Trump with House Speaker Paul Ryan.,
Thousands of “Kill the Bill” protesters returned to the streets ahead of a major vote. The protestors were calling on lawmakers to vote down the bill, which would have given President Trump more power over trade negotiations.
Last spring, anti-Bill demonstrations swept the United Kingdom (photos: Getty/PA).
Protests against the bill have resurfaced throughout the nation, with people picking up where they left off last spring.
Since it was initially developed in response to Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion rallies, the government has encountered tremendous opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSE).
The Bill is designed to provide police additional authority in order to make demonstrations less disruptive to daily life, but many people believe it is really restricting the freedom to demonstrate.
Things calmed down for a time while the law moved through the bureaucratic steps of government, but an imminent vote on Monday has reignited the debate.
On Saturday, there were demonstrations in London, Bristol, Coventry, Newcastle, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Plymouth, and Cardiff.
Thousands marched from Holborn in London to Westminster’s Parliament Square, screaming “kill the bill” and holding placards that said “protect the freedom to protest” and “we will not be silent.”
At the Cardiff rally, a lady shouted “defund the cops,” a Black Lives Matter slogan (Picture: Getty)
Demonstrators in London burned red flares during the march (Picture: PA)
Many people believe that the Bill would severely limit people’s ability to protest (Picture: PA)
‘This right-wing, authoritarian Government used to support pro-Brexit demonstrations and statue defenders when it suited them,’ Labour peer Shami Chakrabarti addressed the gathering.
‘This government talks about freedom of expression and complains about cancel culture. It makes a lot of noise about China and Russia, as well as every other country where basic rights are being violated.
‘However, freedom of expression is a two-way street.’ What’s more, do you know what? The ultimate cancel culture comes with a police baton and a jail term for non-violent opposition, not a tweet.’
Sue, 62, of Extinction Rebellion, is concerned that the law may limit what she sees are effective means of protest, such as attaching yourself to another campaigner.
‘So many of the liberties we enjoy in this nation have been won via protest,’ she remarked.
‘Not because people have been quiet about it, or because those in authority have decided to grant people liberties, but because people have taken to the streets and created a racket.’
‘And I want to be able to do it for the rest of my life, and I want my children to be able to do it as well.’
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn spoke to the London gathering as well, stating that the law “disempowers us all.”
‘Where does it go to if the freedom to demonstrate is curtailed, if you have to obtain police permission to do anything?’ he questioned.
‘As a result, every demonstration becomes a dispute about whether or not to hold it, rather than over what the protest is about.’
‘As a result, instead of demanding things, we ended ourselves continuously defending them.’ This sensation of powerlessness is intended to be depressing, especially for young people.’
Squid Game jumpsuits were worn by Extinction Rebellion demonstrators in Manchester (Picture: PA)
Demonstrators spoke about how many liberties they had gained as a result of their protests (Picture: Getty Images)
In Manchester, people from a variety of movements gathered (Picture: PA)
The PCSC bill is a broad piece of legislation that would give police additional authority to set restrictions on nonviolent demonstrations that are thought to be excessively loud or a nuisance.
The law also recommends that the maximum punishment for destroying or damaging a monument be increased from three months to ten years.
It will give police more’stop and search’ powers as well as additional powers to ‘tackle unlawful encampments,’ which may have an impact on Gypsy and Traveller communities.
In November, the House of Lords added to it with changes that proposed criminalizing opposing important transportation projects.
In July, it passed the House of Commons by a vote of 365 to 265 and will now be debated in the House of Lords on Monday.
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Thousands of “Kill the Bill” protesters returned to the streets in Washington D.C. ahead of a major vote on Thursday. The bill would give President Trump the power to declare emergency powers and build a border wall without congressional approval. Reference: kill the bill petition.
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