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Police make arrests in South London anti-lockdown protest

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
There were angry scuffles between anti-lockdown protesters and Met Police officers in and around Clapham Common

With strong indications that the latest lockdown in England is set to the toughest and longest yet, more and more people are risking fines and even arrest by openly protesting against the new measures.

The latest protest has taken place in Clapham Common (South London), where maskless protesters clashed with the police.

The Metropolitan Police intervened forcefully to break up the protest on the grounds that protest gatherings are not an “exemption” to the coronavirus lockdown rules.

In the ensuing clashes with the maskless protesters – some of whom were chanting “take your freedom back” – at least twelve people were reportedly arrested.

Despite the large police presence around Clapham Common station, protestors were openly defying the police and by extension the newly-introduced laws to enforce lockdowns.

One protestor, who was put into handcuffs by the police, proclaimed as he was taken away: “I stand under common law, not maritime law and this is assault”.

The latest protest comes in the wake of a “major incident” being declared in London as the new variant of Covid-19 – popularly referred to as the “British Virus” – threatens to overwhelm the capital’s hospitals.

According to City Hall (the headquarters of the Greater London Authority), Covid-19 cases in London have exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 of the population, while there are currently 35 percent more patients in hospital with coronavirus symptoms  than during the “peak of the pandemic” last April.


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