At least three officers were hurt and 18 anti-mask protesters were arrested after clashing with police in London.
London’s Met Police confirmed on Saturday that the arrests were for offences including breaching Coronavirus regulations, assaulting an emergency service worker, and violent disorder. Protesters descended on London from all over the country to campaign against restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
As they arrived, they were urged to join the protest “against Covid scam and tyranny” in a call to arms on social media. The demonstration began at 12pm at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, before a march set off through central London. Most of the protesters could be seen not wearing masks during the entire march.
Within the last few hours, the Police said that all crowds have now been dispersed, but said its policing plan will continue into the evening. 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.
He added quote: “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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