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.