‘Kill the Bill’ demonstrators attacked police with fireworks, bottles and other missiles and up to 12 police vehicles were destroyed in the protest. At least 20 police officers were injured in the clash, with at least two suffering serious injuries.
Avon and Somerset Police Chief Constable Andy Marsh confirmed one officer suffered a collapsed lung after being stamped on, while another suffered broken bones.
But the protest sparked outrage, with many Express.co.uk readers lashed out at the rioters, claiming they were “defending their right to commit criminal damage”.
One person said: “The only constant protestors are the hateful left jumping onto any issue to exploit for their own hate…”
Another said: “Sadly, yet again we see a clear example that these snowflakes care little or nothing for the health and welfare for their parents, grandparents or other elderly relatives.
“All that matters is their selfish belief that they can ignore laws and safety rules which have served us well over recent weeks.
“Let’s be straight, as we see the spread of the virus start to increase once again, it’s people like this who must accept some of the blame.
“Of course they won’t, it could only be the fault of Boris.”
A third reader said they were not “defending their right to protest” but instead “defending their right to cause affray and commit criminal damage”.
READ MORE: What is Kill the Bill protest? Violence erupts in Bristol
Another added: “So the woke want to cancel everyone that’s not woke.
“But when they themselves get cancelled they get violent.
“So that’s: be woke or we’ll be violent to you.”
Someone else said the protesters need to be dealt with “accordingly”.
They said: “When protesting turns into attacking Police with bottles, fireworks and other missiles & setting Police vehicles alight, looting and damaging private properties then new laws should be introduced to punish the offenders to the nth degree.
“They are not demonstrating, they are rioting and need dealing with accordingly.”
Another person added: “So this is the precious ‘right to protest’ politicians in this country are so determined to defend?
“Get the bloody water canons out and let’s have some law and order back in the country rather than mob rule.
“They know they will get away with it so nothing will change until they are stopped.”
Windows at Bridewell Police Station were smashed and graffitied by rioters.
Police in riot gear attempted to contain the crowd with the support of mounted officers and dogs.
Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the protests and described them as “thuggery”.
She tweeted: “Unacceptable scenes in Bristol tonight.
“Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated.
“Our police officers put themselves in harms way to protect us all.
“My thoughts this evening are with those police officers injured.”