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Police swoop to seize Stop Brexit Man’s speaker under new law banning 'noisy protests'
28 June 2022, 13:02 | Updated: 28 June 2022, 14:32
A large group of police surrounded well-known anti-Brexit activist 'Stop Brexit Man' and shut down a demonstration as new protest laws came into force.
Former coin dealer Steve Bray, turned failed Lib Dem parliamentary candidate and pro-EU activist, was surrounded by a group of around twenty uniformed officers on Tuesday.
The officers seized his hi-fi equipment as they prevented him from setting up in Westminster this afternoon.
Under the Police Crime Sentencing and Courts Act which came into force today, he was informed he was forbidden from conducting a ‘noisy protest’ within a designated area outside the Palace of Westminster.
Mr Bray told LBC: "I'm here, protesting as normal, I've been protesting for the last six years or so and the police warned me twice and I said, 'no we're a protest, I'm not recognising this fascist law that Priti Patel has pushed through Parliament'.
"I put the amp on again... and they came over and started to seize the two amplifiers.
"I'm very angry but at the end of the day amplifiers are replaceable. We need more people here, we need more noise because I ain't going to let these b******* grind me down, none of us are."
Mr Bray added that he was "absolutely not worried at all about being arrested", adding "this has fast become a fascist state, when the laws don't suit them, they change them to suit them and that's when we need to start worrying".
He said that for every amp the police confiscated he would replace them with another 10.
A divisive figure, Mr Bray, 52, told police at the scene they were a ‘bunch of fascists’ and told them if he was fined, he would refuse to pay.
There were scuffles when police turned off his speaker before pulling it from his grasp, knocking his iconic hat off his head as they did so.
“We’ve had a right to protest, we’ve always had a right to protest” said another man at the scene, amid cries of “this is a free country.”
Mr Bray accused officers of breaking his speaker equipment.
“You're fascists”, Mr Bray shouted at the group of officers who turned up to seize his equipment in front of a growing crowd of onlookers.
Today an offence of intentionally or recklessly causing public nuisance is now available to officers in an effort to crack down on disruptive 'guerrilla protests’. The law was aimed at stopping disruptive protests like Insulate Britain who blocked roads to highlight environmental issues.
After officers took his equipment he said: “Police have just seized our amplifiers x 2. And microphone. I still have megaphone. We are going to need more amplifiers and people.”
Earlier he tweeted: “Ok …,Police now saying I’ve had 2 warnings…. Threatening to arrest me now. “
LBC has approached Scotland Yard for comment.
Several days ago Mr Bray released a video conversation with a police officer alongside a caption reading “f*** the law.”
The officer was speaking to Mr Bray to give him a “friendly warning” that the new laws come into force today (June 28).
They told him his protests may result in police action if they are ignored.
He responded by holding his hands out and saying if he crosses the line he will readily accept being arrested.
Mr Bray has been a regular outside Parliament for years, initially protesting over Brexit but more recently turning his attention to Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party.