Related video: Anti-Brexit activist Steve Bray allegedly assaulted in scuffle near Downing Street
New legislation which restricts acts which cause “serious annoyance” to members of the public came into force on Tuesday, and has already been used against prominent parliament protester Steve Bray – also known as ‘Stop Brexit Steve’.
Under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 an individual could face a fine or up to 10 years imprisonment if they are causing “serious harm” such as “serious distress, serious annoyance, serious inconvenience or serious loss of amenity”.
Never one to make his feelings known quietly, Mr Bray came with speakers and microphones for his latest protest, which caught the attention of nearby police officers.
In a video shared to Twitter, one officer can be heard telling the protestor: “You’re not allowed to protest making anti-social noise like this … It now extends all the way down this road to Derby Gate – comes in today, I’m telling you now.
“It means you could end up with a very large fine and all your stuff confiscated.”
Though Mr Bray was unphased, claiming the law was “fascism through the back door” and if he receives any fines he’s “not paying them, simple as that”.
\u201cThis is symbolic. We are moving closer and closer to being an authoritarian state. You may not agree with him, or like what he stands for but Steve Bray should still have every right to do what he is does. It is telling that the police have the resources for this too.\u201d
\u201cSteve Bray used to drive me up the wall when I worked in parliament, but this is suppression of democratic rights. \n\nLots of smarmy right wing commentators can dress it up how they want - but that\u2019s what this is.\u201d
\u201cSteve Bray\u2019s protests over years against Brexit and Boris Johnson have been noisy and periodically headache inducing. But the government\u2019s guidance says the police will only stop a protest under the new Police Act when noise would have a \u201csignificant impact on people or\u201d
\u201cIn the last 30 seconds Steve Bray is told that his human rights and his right to protest has been superseded by the 2022 act. There it is in black and white. Protest is now illegal, just like China, North Korea, and Russia.\u201d