Scuffles broke out when the anti-locking protesters marched through the center of London on Saturday, opposed the police warning for them to stay home due to restrictions on Coronavirus.
The police said they had made 33 arrests, most of the Coronavirus regulations violations, after up to 10,000 people gathered holding banners with slogans such as “stop destroying children ‘live” and “fake pandemic.” Close to each other, protesters also trigger flares.
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Under the government’s new coronavirus rules, the protests violated the law for the group to gather for the protest. Still, the opposition to these steps has grown this week, not specifically related to anti-locking demonstrations.
The police were criticized for using heavy tactics to break a vigil for Everard Sarah 33 years on March 13. A police officer has been charged with kidnapping and murder. More than 60 members of the British parliament wrote to Minister of Home Affairs Priti Patel on Friday called for protests to be permitted during the lockdown and said that attending demonstrations should not be a crime.
“We ask you to explicitly exclude protests from meeting restrictions,” MPs, including conservative members of Parliament Steve Baker and Liberal Democratic Leader Ed Davey, said in the letter, organized by the Liberty campaign group and Big Brother Watch. There were three nights of continued protests in London earlier this week, driven by police reactions to Vigil for Everard and anger on the government’s plan to tighten the demonstration law.
When asked about the letter, the Ministry of Home Affairs said that the order of staying at COVID-19 remained in place until March 29, and after which the protests could continue subject to social distancing restrictions. “While we are still in a pandemic, we continue to urge people to avoid mass meetings, in line with the wider coronavirus limit,” said a spokesman. Police said people who violated the regulations could face fines or arrest.