On Tuesday 21st March, hundreds of Bristolians marched to Bridewell Police Station to mark the two year anniversary of the Kill the Bill uprising, and to stand in solidarity with all those facing police and state repression.
We marched to show that despite the brutal police violence of that night, despite the continued persecution of demonstrators through the courts, despite the demonisation in the media – our resistance continues to grow. We dropped huge banners next to the police station, occupied the streets and set off smoke grenades.
We heard speeches from people who have been incarcerated, and those organising against incarceration: the IWW, Justice for Bristol Protesters (from the mum of one of the prisoners), IPP Committee in Action, Bristol Black Socialists, Bristol Copwatch, BDS and ABC, and an ex-prisoner who told us that “my incarceration symbolises how powerful we are as a unit and why it’s imperative we continue to be proactive in the face of state oppression.”
A message was also read out from Ryan Roberts, currently serving a 14 year sentence for involvement in the uprising: “To everyone out there still fighting on the streets or in court don’t give in…we are up against a powerful and corrupt force so we got to stay strong and stay together.”
But we are not just taking to the streets. We are building the power needed in our communities to confront repression directly. We are organising solidarity and care, growing deeper roots so they cannot stamp us out, and building towards an end to policing and prisons in their entirety.
This is the slow, angry, patient work of building resistance. It was happening long before March 21st, 2021, and it will continue.