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The Inevitability of Riots


March 22, 2021


The comparison between the huge demonstrations across the country on Saturday and the abysmal scenes from Bristol the following day were, to say the least, quite marked.


What happened on Saturday was something that the government must take notice of and quickly – the Prime Minister and his colleagues must start listening to the people.


Sunday however, can rightly be said to be entirely self-defeating. If the aim was to emphasise that the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (intended to increase police powers to deal with non-violent demonstrations) is wrong, the disgraceful scenes only strengthen the arguments of the bill’s supporters.


Yet there are already powers in existence to deal with rioting and criminal behaviour, which is what Sunday’s attack on the police was.


There is also a degree of inevitability that legitimate demonstrations and protests will be hijacked by those simply wanting to cause destruction and mayhem. We have seen this many times over the years. When those that wish to do so, then indeed the law and the enforcement of it must be beefed up – but this does not mean giving the police additional power. They have plenty already.


What it means is increasing the ability of the police and other relevant agencies, to find the perpetrators and impose more suitable punishments than currently exist.


If that is done, then perhaps the rest of us can get on with protesting against an increasingly authoritarian and un-conservative government.