Steve Bray warns UK is heading towards 'fascism' after police seize equipment
BBC News

Steve Bray, the parliament protester known as ‘Stop Brexit Steve’ for his loud protests in Westminster, has claimed the UK is heading towards “fascism” after he had his speakers confiscated by police on Tuesday.

The campaigner used amplifiers to blast a rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” at parliament, but was told by police he could not make “anti-social noise” after new legislation came into force that day.

The controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act states an individual is committing an offence if they are causing “serious harm” such as “serious distress, serious annoyance, serious inconvenience or serious loss of amenity”.

Those found to have broken the law can face a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment, and while police warned Mr Bray he could be fined or have “all your stuff confiscated”, the individual defended his “human right to protest”.

Officers were later filmed seizing his amplifiers, as Mr Bray branded them “fascist mouthpieces”.

He told The Independent after the incident: “They are just about to arrest me If I put the amp on again … Human rights have been superseded by crass Tory laws.

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“A lot of this law was aimed at people like me [and] XR [Extinction Rebellion]. It’s shocking in a democracy when it comes to this, but it needs to be tested.

“We’ll be going back on again. We’ve had two warnings already.

“They have said a third time they’re going to arrest me … [they have warned of] seizure of equipment and arrest … if I put the amplifier back on. So I’m gonna go with an anti-fascist song called ‘Bella Ciao’.”

He confirmed he was prepared to be arrested for his actions and gave a message to home secretary Priti Patel to “go to hell”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire on Tuesday evening, Mr Bray said of Tuesday’s incident: “Basically, under the new laws, they’ve changed the areas where amplification is allowed. Where I was today, which is the island at parliament, they’re saying that is part of the new area.

“I think we’re heading down a path of fascism in this country. I hate to use the f-word, but we certainly are.”

In a tweet shared in the early hours of Wednesday morning, Mr Bray confirmed he had ordered three new amplifiers “of the same type” as those which were confiscated by Scotland Yard the day before.

Indy100 has approached the Metropolitan Police for comment about the incident, but is yet to receive a response.

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