Anti-lockdown protesters today clashed with police after at least 15,000 demonstrators descended on Trafalgar Square as part of a rally against coronavirus measures in the UK. Police managed to pen in the protesters and end the rally, but some protestors moved to Hyde Park.
Attendees of the ‘We Do Not Consent’ rally ditched their masks as they crammed into the London square this afternoon, despite Metropolitan Police pleading with people to stick to Britain’s coronavirus restrictions.
Crowds, who were also warned violence would not be tolerated, carried placards reading ‘is this freedom?’ and ‘end the crazy rules’ as they flocked to protest against Britain’s coronavirus restrictions.
Ten people were arrested during the demonstration – which later moved to Hyde Park – and four police officers were injured with two rushed to hospital.
Piers Corbyn, 73, brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was among the crowd alongside conspiracy theorist David Icke, 68, who has made a series of false claims linking Covid-19 to 5G technology. Demonstrators ditched their masks and ignored social distancing as they shouted ‘we will win’ and waved flags, before police shut them down because crowds ‘have not complied with the conditions of their risk assessment’.
Trafalgar Square has a maximum capacity of 20,000 people and photographs showed crowds almost filling the area as they stood shoulder to shoulder to protest against Britain’s increasingly stricter lockdown rules.
Skirmishes broke out between protesters and police later in the day, with those in attendance chanting ‘shame on you’ – shoving at officers as they passed through the crammed crowd. Reacting, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The reckless and violent behaviour of some protesters has left hard-working police officers injured and put the safety of our city, which is at a critical moment in the fight against this virus, at risk. This is totally unacceptable. “We cannot let the sacrifices Londoners have made be undermined by the selfish behaviour of a small number.