Politicians in the city have criticized the police for their handling of peaceful protests.
A number of prominent Liverpool politicians have expressed their displeasure with the police’s handling of protesters at a contentious arms fair now taking place in the city.
The AOC Europe 2021 electronic warfare show continues today at Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre at the Kings Dock, following large-scale protests yesterday and a number of arrests by Merseyside Police.
The protests started on Sunday night, with some protestors making up to the conference center’s roof, where two people were arrested for having materials that could be used for criminal damage.
‘South Sefton gang member’ was the gunman who fired shots into the automobile.
Two guys who had made it onto the roof were also arrested last night on accusations of criminal damage conspiracy, aggravated trespass, and police obstruction.
A dispersal zone has been established across a vast stretch of the shoreline, according to police. The order is in effect until 6:44 p.m. today.
The River Front, Mariners Wharf, Sefton Street, The Strand, Liver Street, Thomas Steers Way, The Strand, James Street, Castle Street, Dale Street, Exchange Street East, Chapel Street, and St Nicholas Place are all covered by the Dispersal Order.
The order is based on Section 34 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2014, which allows police officers and police community support traffic officers to order people who they suspect are causing or likely to cause crime, nuisance, or anti-social behavior to leave a designated area and not return for up to 48 hours.
And it is the deployment of this order that has sparked outrage from some of the city’s most powerful politicians, who claim the action was ‘extreme’ and intended to quell peaceful protests.
The level of policing was ‘proportionate to the information we had received,’ according to Merseyside Police.
West Derby MP Ian Byrne, who has been critical of the arms fair event itself and is dissatisfied with the police actions surrounding it, was one of the critics of the police intervention.
“An event that shames our wonderful city is now protected from legal and justifiable protest by a dispersal order that further protects our magnificent city,” he said.
“The summary comes to an end.”