Hundreds came out to march against the lockdown yesterday in Bournemouth, Liverpool, Basildon and Hyde Park. The Daily Mail has a full report.
At least 22 people have today been arrested after anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police when hundreds took to the streets in an ongoing fight against coronavirus restrictions.
Rallies were held in Bournemouth, London and Liverpool, where a growing crowd chanted “freedom” as they marched through the city centre in the rain this afternoon.
The group in Merseyside were shepherded by police, who later moved in to make arrests, with some demonstrators seen being pepper sprayed as they grappled with officers on the ground. It is thought that the protest began at 1pm and started with around 100 people gathered on Church Street before the group grew significantly in size.
At least 13 people were arrested during the demonstration in Liverpool, Merseyside Police confirmed. Among those detained was a 36 year-old man from Kirkby, who was arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker after an officer was pushed to the chest on Church Street.
Rallies were also held in London, where the Metropolitan Police confirmed four were arrested for breach of COVID-19 regulations after gathering at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park.
Officers confirmed those detained remained in custody this afternoon while the “remainder of the crowd have been dispersed”.
Michael Walsh, of the Central West Command Unit, said: “We take reports of breaches of COVID-19 restrictions seriously. We are still in a pandemic and it is extremely selfish of a small minority of people to carry on without regard for the regulations.”
There were similar scenes on the south coast, with social distancing nowhere to be seen as activists marched through the seaside town of Bournemouth, holding placards reading “freedom” and “the pandemic is over”.
As street protests are repeatedly being met with arrests and dispersal orders, here’s an idea from a reader, previously posted in the comments, but worth flagging here following yesterday’s item.
Shall we set in motion “unarrestable” protests?
Say, on 1/12/20, i.e. before they renew lockdown from December 2nd, an en masse sit in in cars outside of parliament hooting horns.
Or in the queues caused by extra London cycle lanes.
Or on motorways (a go-slow, like when they tried to increase fuel duty).
Or even everyone, everywhere in the country wherever they are but at a given time (will have to be co-ordinated) all hooting their horns.
A bit like the gilets jaune protests but no-one is breaking the law
On the subject of protests, another reader has asked an interesting question.
Just curious in light of all the news about retailers going into administration. Why do you think they are not taking out full-page adverts in the major newspapers to complain about the lockdown?
Locally, various retail-park retailers including the Range, Poundland and B&M are still open and crammed to the gunwales with COVID-19-transmitting (ahem) people bringing their kids for a trip out, while TK Maxx, Debenhams and Ikea are closed.
Why have clothes and shoes shops been closed? Are they not selling essential items? All it’s done is force people who need ‘essential’ coats and shoes into the food retailers. It feels like the major non-food retailers are somehow benefitting from the enforced lockdown. How? Why? And why are the other retailers not complaining loudly?
Your comments welcomed! Sending this to my MP who will ignore it.
If anyone has thoughts on this, and feels like stepping in for the MP, do please get in touch here.