Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Friday, Jul 19, 2024

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

London's Metropolitan Police force detained six organisers from the pressure group and seized hundreds of their placards, Republic said.
UK police drew condemnation Saturday after arresting leading members of the anti-monarchy group Republic as they prepared to protest along the procession route for the coronation of King Charles III.

London's Metropolitan Police force detained six organisers from the pressure group and seized hundreds of their placards, Republic said.

Republic chief executive Graham Smith was among those detained near Trafalgar Square, before the group had a chance to wave the signs declaring "Not my king".

"The whole core team of Republic is still being detained," the group said on Twitter some seven hours after the arrests and well after the coronation ceremony. "Is this democracy?"

The Met tweeted that four people were held "on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance".

"We seized lock-on devices," it added, referring to newly outlawed contraptions used by demonstrators to attach themselves to each other, an object or the ground.

But the detentions prompted swift criticism from Human Rights Watch, which called the arrests "incredibly alarming".

"This is something you would expect to see in Moscow, not London," the rights organisation's UK director, Yasmine Ahmed, said in a statement.

"Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power to account -- something the UK government seems increasingly averse to."

'Dystopian'

The arrests came just days after UK police forces were controversially granted new anti-protest powers by the government following years of disruptive demonstrations by environmental activists.

It expands protest-related offences to include locking-on and carrying lock-on devices, extends police stop and search powers, and allows for new court orders to prevent people from attending demonstrations.

Separately on Saturday, at least 19 members of Just Stop Oil were also arrested in central London, the environmental campaign group said in a statement.

An AFP reporter saw several activists being handcuffed by police on The Mall, the processional route from Buckingham Palace.

"Their intention was only to display T-shirts and flags. This is a massive authoritarian overreach," Just Stop Oil said, claiming that none of those arrested had "glue, paint or any plans to disrupt the coronation".

"New policing laws mean we're now living in a dystopian nightmare -- this disgraceful overreach is what you'd expect in Pyongyang, North Korea, not Westminster."

Reports said other protesters were detained, including a man allegedly held in St James's Park for carrying a megaphone.

"It could scare the horses," a police officer at the scene said, according to a Sky News television reporter present.

Amnesty International's chief executive Sacha Deshmukh said: "We need to see what details emerge around these incidents, but merely being in possession of a megaphone or carrying placards should never be grounds for a police arrest."

'Wrong'

Republic, which wants Britain's constitutional monarchy replaced by an elected head of state, had been vocal about its protest plans, but Smith said this week that they had no plans to disrupt the procession.

Republic's director Harry Stratton, 30, said activists were carrying placards near Trafalgar Square when around 20 officers stopped and searched them.

"Graham and our volunteers asked why and they said 'we will find that out'," Stratton said. "After that they arrested them, saying 'we are seizing all these placards'."

A camera crew from the group Alliance of European Republican Movements asked a senior police officer why they were being held.

"They're under arrest. End of," the officer replied, according to footage posted on Twitter.

The Met, which this week had vowed "low tolerance for any disruption", tweeted that officers made "a number of arrests" as part of its "significant police operation".

Dubbed "Golden Orb", it deployed 11,500 officers on Saturday as well as facial-recognition technology that civil liberties organisations branded "authoritarian".

The detentions infuriated the scores of other demonstrators who rallied near The Mall as well as in Trafalgar Square.

"This bill is all so wrong so, yeah, I don't feel like celebrating anything today," Eva Smeeth, 19, told AFP, holding a placard bearing the slogan "abolish the monarchy not the right to protest".
Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
0:00
0:00
Close
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
×