LONDON, October 26, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Anti-lockdown protestors calling for freedom and an end to tyranny were violently dispersed by police on Saturday.
Under the banner “Stop the New Normal,” the march made its way from Hyde Park to Buckingham Palace and then to Trafalgar Square. The protestors also stopped at Scotland Yard, the headquarters of London Metropolitan Police, in order to say “what we think of the policing and what we think of how the laws have been presented.”
The marchers chanted slogans, shouting “we are the 99 percent,” making reference to the percentage of those who survive having COVID-19. Others joined in singing “I would rather be a human than a slave.” Once in Trafalgar Square, speakers gave talks to the crowd while police watched.
However, the Metropolitan Police soon moved in to disband the protest. Commander Adelekan, leading the police force at the scene, stated that he “became increasingly concerned that those in the crowd were not maintaining social distancing or adhering to the terms of their own risk assessment.”
Adelekan continued: “(Organizers) 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.”
Graphic videos have appeared online, recording the steps that police took, with footage showing police shoving and forcefully throwing people to the ground. One video shows the police en masse chasing a protestor and pinning him to the ground.
Save Our Rights posted on Facebook that a group of around 2,000 had become detached from the main protest and were “kettled and subject to police brutality down at Westminster bridge.” The organization added that the police “didn’t dare do this when we were all together even when we were right outside Scotland Yard.”
Adelekan briefly noted the occurrence differently: “Frustratingly, a small minority became obstructive, deliberately ignoring officers’ instructions and blocking Westminster Bridge.” However, the Guardian newspaper reported that it was the police who actually blocked the bridge. Eighteen people were arrested as a result, with the police charging them for violating coronavirus restrictions, “assaulting an emergency service worker, violent disorder and for being wanted.”
The police violence comes on the heels of footage from an anti-lockdown protest last month, when riot police stormed the peaceful crowd, beating the protestors with batons and leaving many bloodied.
A Black Lives Matter protest was also organized on October 24 to protest police brutality in Nigeria. In contrast, footage of the event showed the police were present, but did not attempt to disperse the crowds, despite them being in violation of the “social distancing” protocol.
Louise Creffield, the founder of Save Our Rights U.K, said of the protest on Saturday, “We believe that the coronavirus regulations that are in place are not proportionate and appropriate, and are causing more harm than good. We are very concerned with protecting people’s human rights: right to privacy, family life, bodily autonomy, medical freedoms, and so on.”
The anti-lockdown protest is merely the latest of many that have been taking place in the capital city and across the country. It comes in the wake of new restrictions announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, dividing the country into one of three levels of lockdowns.
More than half the population is now under some level of lockdown and in some places the army has been deployed to ensure that lockdown rules are obeyed.