Thousands Gather For Anti-Lockdown Protest In Central London
Demonstrators came together in Trafalgar Square today, with some seen carrying placards reading slogans like 'Is this freedom?', 'We do not consent' and 'End the crazy rules'.
Many people did not appear to be wearing face coverings as they gathered in their masses, clapping and shouting: "We will win."
According to ITV, police searched a man and confiscated a 'makeshift riot shield' that he had been carrying.
The Metropolitan Police said it would be 'stepping up patrols' today ahead of 'demonstrations in Central London', reminding the public that we gathering in large numbers during a public health crisis puts 'your health, and the health of your family, at risk'.
We are stepping up patrols today ahead of demonstrations in Central London. We remain in a public health crisis and gathering in large numbers puts your health, and the health of your family, at risk. Please follow @MetPoliceEvents for updates.https://t.co/SJNFWEVnTh
- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) September 26, 2020
While protests are exempt from the government's 'rule of six', the force has been encouraging organisers to remember their 'legal obligations' when it comes to such events.
A statement said: "It is illegal for people to gather in groups of more than six, unless they are exempt. Protest is one of those exemptions, however organisers must submit a risk assessment and must comply with social distancing.
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"Some organisers have submitted a risk assessment and have complied with requirement. Where the organisers have not submitted a risk assessment, then the Met will increase their engagement and encourage attendees to disperse. Enforcement remains a last resort, but will be undertaken if required."
Commander Ade Adelekan, who is leading the Met operation today, said: "I know there is great frustration to these regulations but they have been designed to keep everyone safe from what is a lethal virus.
"By flagrantly gathering in large numbers and ignoring social distancing, you are putting your health and the health of your loved ones at risk."
He added: "Last weekend it was highly disappointing to see that a small minority of demonstrators targeted officers with violence. Some 15 officers were injured during this protest, with more than 32 arrests being made during the course of the day.
"I will not tolerate a repeat of this behaviour this weekend and officers will respond quickly to any scenes of violence."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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