Anti-mask mayhem in Trafalgar Square: Police arrest 32 as conspiracy theorists clash with officers and hundreds rail against Covid restrictions in central London protest
- Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters clashed with Metropolitan Police at a mass rally at Nelson’s column
- Army of police moved in on angry demonstrators defying Boris Johnson’s coronavirus restrictions today
- Protesters carried placards warning ‘this is now tyranny’ and ‘plandemic’ while others called Covid-19 a ‘hoax’
- Outnumbered officers were pushed back by the huge Resist And Act For Freedom Rally in central London
Jack Wright – Daily Mail Sept 19, 2020
More than 30 people have been arrested after violent scuffles between protesters and police at a large anti-vax, anti-lockdown protest in central London.
Hundreds descended on Trafalgar Square on Saturday afternoon for a “Resist And Act For Freedom” rally, including some bearing 5G conspiracy placards and signs declaring Covid-19 a “hoax”, with police repelled by human blockades as they tried to clear the area around Nelson’s column.
Dozens of officers, including some on horseback and in riot gear, were pushed back by crowds who chanted and cheered, with some throwing missiles.
At least one protester was seen with a bloodied head while another was seen receiving medical attention on the ground, but the London Ambulance Service did not immediately have information on any injuries.
The London landmark was cleared of protesters after 5pm, and Scotland Yard said 32 people were arrested.
The force said the large crowds were “putting themselves and others at risk” just a day after Mayor of London Sadiq Khan warned it is “increasingly likely” restrictions will be needed to slow the spread of coronavirus in the capital, adding he was “extremely concerned” about the rate of transmission in London.
The number of cases per 100,000 people over seven days is reported to have increased in London from 18.8 to around 25.
Police said they had to take “enforcement action to disperse” the crowds after officers who had attempted to “explain, engage and encourage them to leave” were met with “hostility” and “violence” from some demonstrators.
Traffic around Trafalgar Square came to a halt during the demonstration, with one protester seen apparently spitting through the open window of a taxi whose driver had beeped the horn in frustration.
The protest was advertised with an image showing a vaccine bottle and urging people to “Come together, resist and act”.
Protests are exempt from new legal restrictions introduced on Monday limiting groups to six, but only if it is “organised in compliance with Covid-19 Secure guidance”, the Government said.
In other coronavirus developments today:
- London Mayor Sadiq Khan held an emergency meeting about the ‘accelerating speed’ of Covid in the capital and said that extra coronavirus restrictions would be required;
- A further 4,322 confirmed cases were recorded nationally – the highest total since May 8 – with public officials warning that Covid-19 was ‘spreading widely’ around the UK;
- Official figures suggest the total has almost doubled in a week to around 6,000 a day in England alone;
- Local lockdown restrictions were extended to cover around 13 million people, with 3.5 million more affected in the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands;
- The Scottish and Welsh leaders, as well as the Labour leader, called for an emergency Cobra meeting;
- Police warned coronavirus remained a ‘deadly threat’ and called for compliance with the Rule of Six