HUNDREDS of protesters marched through the city to oppose new laws giving police more powers.

The "Kill the Bill" demonstration started with a gathering at The Level in Brighton at 1pm yesterday.

There were speeches from trade unionists, campaigners, and Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle.

From there they marched to London Road, and staged a sit down protest at Grand Parade, blocking traffic.

They marched on to Brighton Police Station at John Street, then back past the Royal Pavilion and into Brighton city centre by the Clock Tower.

They are concerned that new powers will curb people's right to protest, and they are also concerned that new laws could allow "spy" police immunity from prosecution if officers were to commit crime.

Labour MP Mr Russell-Moyle gave a speech and was at times heckled by some among the crowd.

He said he opposes the "spy cops" bill which he claims would allow undercover officers investigating left-wing groups and unions to be allowed to break the law with impunity.

The MP also said he wants to defend Roma, Gypsy and Travellers from discriminatory policies, and said he opposes giving armed forces personnel immunity from prosecution for war crimes. He stated it would undermine the UK's credibility on protecting human rights.

He said the Conservatives' legislation plans are "disgusting".

The MP also said allowing people in "high viz" jackets more power, such as the police, could be a "recipe for disaster" that undermines democracy.

He was at times heckled by one or two people in the crowd about the current policies of the Labour Party.

The MP said the party is the representative of the unions and of "the people" in Parliament, but said the party does not have the numbers to stop the Conservatives creating new laws he opposes.

Mr Russell-Moyle said: "When Labour is unable to achieve what you need it to achieve, you need to take to the streets and in communities to show you will not give in. You will keep fighting and kill the bill."

A statement was read out on behalf of Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas from the Green Party.

The event coincided with International Workers' Day, a day commemorating struggles of trade unionists for people's rights over the past 200 years or more.

Unions including GMB, Unison, UCU, the National Education Union and Unite were all represented at the demonstration at The Level.

Community organisations such as Acorn, a union for tenants and renters, took part, as did representatives from Brighton and Hove Stand up to Racism.

General secretary Matt Webb of the Brighton Trades Council, a body coordinating the unions in Brighton, also spoke.

He said: "We will be a nuisance to corrupt, vexatious policing, corrupt governments, slum landlords, and errant employers.

"We are campaigning for a freer, more just world where everybody is treated with dignity, respect, and compassion. 

"We should not be fined or imprisoned for demanding it."