Anti-Monarchy Protesters Arrested During UK Coronation

'Not My King': Anti-Monarchy Protesters Arrested During UK Coronation

The arrests got here simply days after UK police forces had been granted new anti-protest powers.


UK police drew condemnation Saturday after arresting main members of the anti-monarchy group Republic as they ready to protest alongside the procession route for the coronation of King Charles III.

London’s Metropolitan Police power detained six organisers from the stress group and seized tons of of their placards, Republic mentioned.

Republic chief govt Graham Smith was amongst these detained close to Trafalgar Square, earlier than the group had an opportunity to wave the indicators declaring “Not my king”.

“The complete core staff of Republic remains to be being detained,” the group mentioned on Twitter some seven hours after the arrests and nicely after the coronation ceremony. “Is this democracy?”

The Met tweeted that 4 individuals had been held “on suspicion of conspiracy to trigger public nuisance”.

“We seized lock-on units,” it added, referring to newly outlawed contraptions utilized by demonstrators to connect themselves to one another, an object or the bottom.

But the detentions prompted swift criticism from Human Rights Watch, which known as the arrests “extremely alarming”.

“This is one thing you’d anticipate to see in Moscow, not London,” the rights organisation’s UK director, Yasmine Ahmed, mentioned in a press release.

“Peaceful protests permit people to carry these in energy to account — one thing the UK authorities appears more and more averse to.”


The arrests got here simply days after UK police forces had been controversially granted new anti-protest powers by the federal government following years of disruptive demonstrations by environmental activists.

It expands protest-related offences to incorporate locking-on and carrying lock-on units, extends police cease and search powers, and permits for brand spanking new courtroom orders to stop individuals from attending demonstrations.

Separately on Saturday, no less than 19 members of Just Stop Oil had been additionally arrested in central London, the environmental marketing campaign group mentioned in a press release.

An AFP reporter noticed a number of activists being handcuffed by police on The Mall, the processional route from Buckingham Palace.

“Their intention was solely to show T-shirts and flags. This is an enormous authoritarian overreach,” Just Stop Oil mentioned, claiming that none of these arrested had “glue, paint or any plans to disrupt the coronation”.

“New policing legal guidelines imply we’re now dwelling in a dystopian nightmare — this disgraceful overreach is what you’d anticipate in Pyongyang, North Korea, not Westminster.”

Reports mentioned different protesters had been detained, together with a person allegedly held in St James’s Park for carrying a megaphone.

“It might scare the horses,” a police officer on the scene mentioned, based on a Sky News tv reporter current.

Amnesty International’s chief govt Sacha Deshmukh mentioned: “We have to see what particulars emerge round these incidents, however merely being in possession of a megaphone or carrying placards ought to by no means be grounds for a police arrest.”


Republic, which needs Britain’s constitutional monarchy changed by an elected head of state, had been vocal about its protest plans, however Smith mentioned this week that they’d no plans to disrupt the procession.

Republic’s director Harry Stratton, 30, mentioned activists had been carrying placards close to Trafalgar Square when round 20 officers stopped and searched them.

“Graham and our volunteers requested why they usually mentioned ‘we are going to discover that out’,” Stratton mentioned. “After that they arrested them, saying ‘we’re seizing all these placards’.”

A digital camera crew from the group Alliance of European Republican Movements requested a senior police officer why they had been being held.

“They’re underneath arrest. End of,” the officer replied, based on footage posted on Twitter.

The Met, which this week had vowed “low tolerance for any disruption”, tweeted that officers made “plenty of arrests” as a part of its “important police operation”.

Dubbed “Golden Orb”, it deployed 11,500 officers on Saturday in addition to facial-recognition expertise that civil liberties organisations branded “authoritarian”.

The detentions infuriated the scores of different demonstrators who rallied close to The Mall in addition to in Trafalgar Square.

“This invoice is all so flawed so, yeah, I do not really feel like celebrating something in the present day,” Eva Smeeth, 19, instructed AFP, holding a placard bearing the slogan “abolish the monarchy not the proper to protest”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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