More Than 60 Arrested As Anti-Lockdown Protestors Clash With Police In London
Hundreds marched towards Oxford Street from Hyde Park, holding plaques and chanting 'stop controlling us', 'no more lockdowns' and 'freedom'.
The protests became violent in places as officers attempted to disperse the crowds, with the demonstration unlawful under coronavirus legislation banning gatherings.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Twitter that more than 60 people had been arrested, and the force urged people to go home.
Officers have made over 60 arrests following groups gathering in London today. These were for a number of different offences, including breaching coronavirus restrictions. We expect this number to rise.- Met Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) November 28, 2020
We continue to urge people to go home.
According to The Guardian, Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell said: "This type of behaviour not only breaks the law, it also risks spreading the virus between multiple areas of the country.
"It is for this reason that we urge people not to travel into London and this is also why we will be taking appropriate enforcement action if this happens."
Protestors booed police and lit flares, with some throwing bottles and smoke bombs at officers, according to the Metro.
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One of the organisations behind the protest, StandUpX, said the country has come to resemble a 'police dictatorship'.
The group's website reads: "We are living in a state of authoritarian control. There is no opposition in government. Police are unleashing violence on peaceful protestors. This describes a Police Dictatorship.
"We do not consent to Government social distancing measures destroying public and private life. We do not accept enforced masks. We do not accept a dictatorship of lockdowns, ruthless demolition of small businesses, criminalising peaceful citizens & police brutality."
Some have argued that protests should considered exempt from gathering restrictions, but Met Police confirmed such gatherings are banned.
In a statement, the force said: "Protest is not currently a permitted exemption to the prohibition on gatherings under the current coronavirus regulations.
"Strict regulations have been introduced by the government nationally to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This means that anyone gathering for protest risks enforcement action by officers."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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