Three police officers suffered minor injuries while breaking up a ‘Stop The New Normal’ protest in central London.
Crowds of thousands gathered in the city with banners and placards, calling for ‘freedom’ and an end to restrictions imposed due the pandemic.
They called the new rules ‘tyranny’ and also voiced their opposition to vaccines.
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Police were deployed outside Buckingham Palace as crowds of protesters gathered on the steps of the Queen Victoria memorial opposite the gates, before making their way to Trafalgar Square.
Police said that at least ten people were arrested at the anti-lockdown protest, after they announced it would be broken up as the demonstration failed to comply with the risk assessment.
There was some disruption on Westminster Bridge as officers tried to disperse crowds.
Yesterday, around 50 people gathered in Parliament Square for a protest organised by the Stop Trump Coalition.
A pantomime cow and a group of chlorinated chickens were among demonstrators who turned out to protest against a proposed trade deal between Britain and the US.
Organisers said any negotiated deal would be a ‘horror story’ and a serious threat to the NHS, UK food standards and democracy.
Ahead of the weekend’s events police had urged people to comply with Covid-19 regulations, warning that they may be at risk of committing a criminal offence if they did not.
The force said they ‘strongly advise’ people not to attend any large gatherings for the protection of themselves and others.
Under current regulations, no-one can participate in a gathering of more than six people outdoors unless certain exemptions apply.
The Met said officers had also received information that unlicensed music events (UMEs) were being organised across the capital.
The force said these events remain illegal and officers will shut them down and take action against organisers.
Commander Ade Adelekan, leading today’s police operation, said: ‘Throughout the day, officers have been managing a number of complex protests at various locations across central London. One demonstration in particular attracted a large number of protesters and I became increasingly concerned that those in the crowd were not maintaining social distancing or adhering to the terms of their own risk assessment.
‘Organisers did not take reasonable steps to keep protesters safe which then voided their risk assessment. At this point, officers then took action to disperse crowds in the interests of public safety.
‘I am grateful that the vast majority of people listened to officers and quickly left the area. Frustratingly, a small minority became obstructive, deliberately ignoring officers’ instructions and blocking Westminster Bridge.
‘Although the majority of protests have concluded, our policing operation will continue into the night and I would urge Londoners to stick to the regulations, avoid gathering in large numbers and maintain social distancing.’
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