‘Kill the Bill’ objectors in Margate visit Duke Street tree protest camp

Kill the Bill protesters at the Duke Street camp Photo Frank Leppard

‘Kill the Bill’ protesters gathered in Margate yesterday (May 1).

The group were protesting against the new police, crime, sentencing and courts bill, which campaigners say include measures to stifle freedom of speech and gives police powers to curb public protests.

Photo Frank Leppard

Kill the Bill campaigners marched along Margate seafront and stopped by the Duke Street tree protest camp, set up to object to the felling of a Sycamore tree in the Old Town.

Photo Carly Jeffrey

Duke Street protesters are now in their  sixth day of occupation at the plot which had been earmarked as a community garden until Thanet council sold it in 2017 and granted planning permission in 2018 for a four-storey property with five flats and a commercial unit.

Photo Frank Leppard

Kent Police were not called although officers assisted with some traffic management.

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The government says the new bill will not stop people carrying out peaceful protests but will prevent ‘disruptive’ tactics.


  1. That’s the trouble with any protestations in Margate, they inevitably get hijacked by the radical left, therefore alienating the more moderate majority. I support the Duke Street campaigners, but I certainly wouldn’t walk side by side with someone holding a rude banner insulting Sir Roger Gale (and to a agree Isupport the governments proposals to limit protests – we were an embarrassment to the world when we allowed London’s Oxford Street to be blocked for days!).

    • How can you even vaguely agree with the government’s proposals or infer that yesterday’s event was hijacked?

    • You agree with the draconian limits on protest? Good luck to you when you’ve got something to protest about. BTW it’s not necessarily the ‘hard left) (whoever they might be?) that think that Gale is worthy of a slightly rude placard.

  2. The protest was about preserving our freedom to protest. Protests have brought about positive change down the centuries, and some of the most effective protest has been disruptive. The suffragettes ended up in the dock a number of times due to causing disruption – without them, we wouldn’t have the vote for women. Peter C obviously doesn’t consider historical struggles when he makes his comments. The new PCSC bill proposed by Priti Patel allows for 10 year sentences and £2500 fines if actions are deemed to be a ‘serious annoyance’. It is obviously too draconian, and the government needs to rethink it.

    • ‘Obviously too draconian’? One might say it’s ‘obvious’ that for many far left extremists, protesting is not so much a right as a hobby.

    • Fines and prison are quite appropriate for idiots who think is is acceptable to disrupt others lives by gluing themselves to underground trains. For those going about their lawful, necessary daily business of going to work, school, hospital appointments, etc. such disruption is unwarranted.

      For some, it seems that protest is a hobby or perhaps even a way of life.

      Similarly, those who sit down in the middle of the road and stop traffic to protest about carbon emissions are really defeating their own objectives by bringing traffic to a halt – thereby increasing the emissions from all those idling engines.

      And as for the idiots that caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage by smashing every window at a bank – did they not think about the damage to the environment from all that broken glass . . . plus the carbon emissions from having to manufacture replacement glass ?

      We have a right to legitimate protest but those who choose to use it destructively are in danger of loosing that right for those who wish to use it constructively.

  3. Interesting how people will call anything ‘radical left’ these days. Wanting the right to protest without fear of a ten year jail sentence is a moderate point of view. Nothing radical left about it.

    • Carly, maybe “radical” was a typo of “rational”? In the age of predictive texting and artificial intellience, we sometimes need to give people the benefit of the doubt 😉

    • Just as the terms/ accusations “ far right”, “racist”,”sexist”, etc are bandied about far too readily , as a means of suppressing debate. The noisy minority extremities of day to day politics effectively drowning out the middle ground of the majority.
      This silenced majority then delivers results such as Brexit and the Tory majority in the last general election to the great dismay of the shouty people.
      Prrhaps more would be acieved by level headed reasoned debate?

  4. Whether I meant “radical”, “rational” or (indeed) “radishes” has nothing whatsoever to do with saving a tree.

    Many people from all walks of life care about nature, and that includes ageing pensioners who thought Margaret Thatcher was a bit too liberal – and who vote for Sir Roger Gale. So, holding a placard that is rude about him is automatically going to alienate those people.

  5. Entirely agree with Carly J’s comments. Nothing, and I mean this, nothing more to be said.

      • saving trees marching about ( peacefully — er any reports of wild antics bar silly words on a placard ha ha ) thats the whole point surely . The right to vote the right to roam the right for free speech the right to strike the free for equality all these ‘rights ‘ are fundamental not radical or left in any way .

    • I find her adorable, but again, what has this got to do with saving a tree???

      No-one has responded to my comment that having the “Kill The Bill” mob there has almost certainly put many off from supporting the tree protesters, myself included.

      • Peter if you believe strongly enough about some thing then do it not say er I ll be put off by the (legal) protesters walking past going past another protest point to highlight the right to do just that !
        It ll all end some time and the very nature of creating debate is fundamentally the essence of British democracy which surely we all can agree upon . Thank you

        • I would never walk side by side with people holding placards that make personal insults. It weakens the whole argument.

      • If nobody has responded to your comment then perhaps this is because you are speaking in a different language to the rest of us. You refer to a civilised group of people as a mob, you automatically label them as radical left and you even hint at supporting one of the most draconian bills in our lifetimes.

  6. Many couldn’t understand why on earth those kill the bill (even that was unclear) protestors wore masks. Very few others enjoying the immune boosting outside fresh air were. Many in the pix weren’t part of that march btw so that’s misleading. But more interestingly, someone told me that day that the Duke St site is on an underground river, rendering development pretty impossible. He suggested TDC and the owner know this. So that would make any planning permission questionable? And it’s logical as there was a lot of water around in Old Town photographs etc. Isn’t this the big story Kathy Bayliss? And something to question for all involved.

  7. I am no Historian of Margate, but this site looks like it used to have a building on it. Perhaps bomb damage. Surely if this is the case building on it is only putting right what the Germans knocked down. I wonder if anyone can tell me if a building was on this site previously?

    • By that reckoning, it would also be OK to build something modern on the remains of Canterbury’s 7th Century St. Augustine monastery because it was torn down in the 16th to 19th Centuries…

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