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Whose streets? Private ownership of public space could curb our right to protest

The erosion of the hard fought-for right to protest is being met with complacency. It's time to speak up

By Rachael Jolley   February 2018

A May Day protestor in privately-owned Paternoster Square. Photo: PA

In 1963, crowds took to the streets of Bristol to protest against a “colour bar” that prevented the employment of non-white drivers and conductors on city buses. The protests were part of the Bristol bus boycott, a campaign that ended with the bus company taking on its first black and Asian conductors.

Today, those protesters could find their path across Bristol blocked because a private company, not elected representatives, run the central squares, and decide who is allowed to…

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