PROTESTERS threw fireworks at police overnight as violent clashes unfolded in dramatic scenes in Bristol for the third night in less than a week.
Riot cops used shields to push back hundreds of booing Kill the Bill demonstrators who threw the sparking missiles along with bottles and eggs at police.
The chaotic scenes saw a number of arrests overnight as the protesters and more than 100 cops armed with shields and helmets faced off in the streets.
Around 1,000 people had gathered in Bristol on Friday night with fears that the scenes would descend into violence after two confrontations in the city already this week.
The protests have been sparked after a new policing bill which would see protests criminalised when deemed a “public nuisance”
And chaos kicked off quickly yet again with fireworks sent flying towards a police horse during the scuffles as cops tried to move on the protesters.
Fears of protesters arming themselves were also sparked with reports that a group of six men had been spotted in the crowd wearing knuckledusters just years away from the police station.
And the demonstrators were heard screaming “no” as the dramatic scenes once again took place on the streets.
Avon and Somertset Police said projectiles including eggs and glass bottles had been lobbed at cops.
In a tweet, they said: “We will not tolerate violent disorder. Arrests have been made.”
But activists, who had earlier staged a sit-down demonstration outside Bristol’s Bridgeway police station, retreated just metres as they refused to give up ground.
Officers warned protesters force would be used – with mounted officers on horses and dogs on standby.
The baying crowd chanted “shame on you” as they were pushed back.
Other protesters were spotted with shopping bags full of alcohol after police put a restriction on city-centre shops from selling alcohol.
Earlier police formed a ring of steel around Bridewell Police Station, which was attacked in previous carnage.
The protests have been held in Bristol over the past week, protesting against the Government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
And during Friday’s demonstrations protesters could be heard chanting “ten years for protest, five years for rape” and “justice for Sarah”, referring to the recent murder of Sarah Everard in London.
It comes after demonstrations on Sunday and Tuesday had also started peacefully before descending into assaults against police and acts of vandalism.
Avon and Somerset Police is currently investigating assaults on 40 officers and one member of the media by thugs at the previous demos.
A total of 24 people have so far been arrested in connection with the disorder, which saw officers attacked, police vehicles set on fire and the windows of a police station smashed.
Police had urged people not to attend any protests because public gatherings are not currently permitted under coronavirus legislation.
Chief Superintendent Claire Armes said: “Once again, we remind everyone that we’re still in a pandemic which has cost many lives and remains a significant challenge for our colleagues in the NHS.
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“We have all sacrificed so much to stop the spread of this terrible disease and we’re so close to a relaxation of the restrictions, when protest will again be possible.
“In Avon and Somerset we remain committed to facilitating peaceful protest when it’s safe and lawful to do so, however gatherings remain a breach of Covid-19 restrictions and risk increasing the spread of coronavirus.
“We urge you not to come.”