TRAFFIC was brought to a standstill yesterday as dozens of people marched through the city to protest against a controversial government bill.

A handful of people from across Brighton and Hove gathered at The Level to protest against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill at 5pm.

Those taking part held homemade banners and placards, as they marched through congested city streets, which saw thousands of people flocking to the seafront amid the warm weather.

The controversial bill looks to increase the maximum penalty for criminal damage of less than £5,000 to a memorial from three months to ten years’ imprisonment, the same maximum sentence for non-sexual child abuse.

It would also grant police additional powers to restrict protests by imposing start and finish times and setting noise limits.

These limitations could be applied to a protest involving a single person.

The weekend's protest follows weeks of action, which has seen support shrink since the first protest, where thousands were estimated to have taken part.

Followed by Sussex Police liaison officers, the group left The Level and marched towards Baker Street, before heading to London Road and eventually North Street.

The Argus: Dozens of people brought traffic to a halt in BrightonDozens of people brought traffic to a halt in Brighton

Photos taken from the event show the bank holiday traffic brought to a halt, as protesters waved flags and banners.

Just over an hour after the protest began, it ended at the Old Steine roundabout in front of a packed Palace Pier.

According to the coronavirus guidance issued by the government, protests can go ahead “where the organiser has taken the required precautions, including the completion of a risk assessment.”

Before the rule change, organisers of gatherings involving more than 30 people faced £10,000 fines.

The Argus: Kill the Bill protesters held flags and banners. Credit: @thekinatonKill the Bill protesters held flags and banners. Credit: @thekinaton

Elsewhere in London, hundreds of people have gathered to protest against the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

Many of the crowd in Parliament Square on Saturday had travelled from outside the capital.

Some claimed the pandemic is a hoax while others carried placards reading “My body, my choice”, and protested against the idea of vaccine passports.

Several people set off smoke bombs and one launched a firework.

One man, who did not give his name, told the PA news agency he had come “because I want to be free and I want you to be free and the Government are lying to us”.

Another said she had attended because the press “are lying to us”.

By around 1.20pm, the crowd had started to disperse and head up Whitehall.

After the crowd dispersed from Parliament Square, it headed up Whitehall past Leicester Square and towards Hyde Park.

A spokesman from Metropolitan Police said: “The 3rd demo is now at Westfield and is causing significant disruption to the local community and businesses, police are at the location.

“The MPS strongly urge those who are taking part in this demo to go home. Failure to do so may result in enforcement action being taken.”