London descended into chaos yesterday as hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police in Trafalgar Square. Violent and hostile clashes with the police left two officers with minor injuries, according to the Metropolitan Police. This comes amid mounting concern of a new national lockdown being imposed across the country after a rise in coronavirus cases.
A Metropolitan Police statement condemned what they called “pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers”.
They called the attacks on its officers “unacceptable” and said the protesters were “putting themselves and others at risk”.
Footage from the scene shows some officers, with batons drawn, pushed back by crowds.
Dozens of officers, including some on horseback, can also be seen repelled by human blockades with loud cheering and chanting when they tried to make arrests.
The gathering for the ‘Resist And Act For Freedom’ rally violated Boris Johnson’s ban on gatherings of more than six people.
The protest, which is understood to have seen more than a thousand attend, saw demonstrators voice their anger against coronavirus restrictions and mass vaccinations.
Others spoke out about 5G conspiracy theories, while placards at the rally warned “this is now tyranny” and called COVID-19 a “hoax”.
Police arrested 32 protesters following the clashes, as they had to take “enforcement action to disperse” the crowds.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that national guidance may have to go beyond the current “rule of six”.
Local lockdown measures have already been introduced in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire – and London Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned that the capital may be next.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan held an emergency meeting about the “accelerating speed” of COVID-19 in the capital and said that extra coronavirus restrictions would be required.
The number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25.
Published at Sun, 20 Sep 2020 06:49:00 +0000