People of all backgrounds gathered yesterday in Nottingham to fight against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
The #killthebill protest took place at the Forest Recreational Ground and proved to be rather peaceful, having had no violent incidents.
Besides the moving speeches that the organisers and attendees have held, multiple impactful messages were spotted on people’s placards.
Let’s take a look at the 10 most powerful messages from Nottingham’s Kill the Bill protest.
1. “Why isn’t EVERYWHERE a safe space?”
In the wake of Sarah Everard’s tragic death, many women started sharing their stories about feeling unsafe in certain situations.
From parks and clubs to gyms and even their own homes, this placard is asking a question that most women have had on their minds at least once in their lifetime: why isn’t everywhere a safe space?
2. “97 per cent”
A survey conducted by UN Women UK found that 97 per cent of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced some form of sexual harassment, while 80 per cent of women of all ages have gone through a traumatic experience of that kind.
The frightening statistics therefore highlighted the day-to-day fear that women have to battle, an issue that was vehemently addressed at today’s #killthebill protest in Nottingham.
3. “Girls just wanna have FUNdamental rights”
One of the protestants decided to put a spin on Cyndi Lauper’s hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, by alluding to the sexist downgrading that women have been experiencing on a daily basis.
From living a life free from violence and gender discrimination to not being objectified and slut-shamed, this placard shows that women will never be defeated in the fight for fundamental rights.
4. “Is the truth too noisy for you?”
One of the protestants hinted at the fact that far too many times, the truth about women’s experiences of sexual assault has been swept under the rug to protect the attacker’s reputation who, in a lot of cases, is someone who the victim “knows or is intimate with”, as stated at the protest.
In order for women to finally “reclaim the streets”, changes need to be brought when it comes to punishing assaulters as soon as possible.
5. “More Priti ain’t pretty”
The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill that has been put forward by the Government aims to allow the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, to decide whether a protest is justified or not.
This could pose a real threat to the UK’s democracy and freedom of speech and, therefore, the policing bill angered a lot of people across the country.
Priti Patel has been severely criticised by not only the members of the public, but by political experts as well, which proved that “more Priti ain’t pretty”.
6. “No Police State = Protest Freedom”
This placard places a firm emphasis on opposing the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill (PCSC Bill), and in particular the new powers surrounding how police deal with protests.
The hashtag Kill the Bill has been trending on Twitter and social media, where users are strongly against the bill because it is viewed that will weaken the right to protest.
7. “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”
This placard uses a quote from former US President John F Kennedy, who said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.
This quote was said in 1962 on the anniversary of the Alliance for Progress March. In this protest it is also impactful, as it is stating that criminalising peaceful protests such as part of the PCSC does, will only lead to more violent action, like what has been seen in Bristol.
8. “Reclaim these streets”
This placard has the simple message of “Reclaim These Streets”, which is a movement that was created after Sarah Everard was killed walking home.
This movement is organised by a group of women who want to channel their grief, anger, and sadness in their community. It has since become a national movement and has helped to organise vigils across the country.
It is relevant to this protest as the Sarah Everard vigil went out of control with police involvement, and the protesters view that the PCSC Bill will create similar scenes to those seen at the vigil.
9. “What you allow is what will continue”
This placard reads “what you allow is what will continue”, alluding to the fact that many see the circumstances for sexual harassment have become normalised within our society, and that it is allowed to happen and therefore will continue to happen.
Another reason why this is significant is if people allow the state to toughen the laws surrounding protests, that is why will continue to happen.
It is a placard that is urging people to stand up and to not allow what is happening to continue.
10. “We s♀and together”
This is a placard with a simple message, but by no means less impactful for it. It reads that “we stand together”, but the “t” in “stand” was replaced with the female gender symbol.
This means that while all people stand together, all women also stand together to support each other when they need.
This placard shows that we are all human, and that by standing together we are stronger.
By Rucsandra Moldoveanu and Kieran Burt
Lead image: Rucsandra Moldoveanu.