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Republican protesters arrested in London ahead of coronation

06 May 2023 3 minute read
A protestor holds up a placard reading ‘Not My King’ in Trafalgar Square. Photo Charles McQuillan PA Images

Republican protesters have been arrested just hours before the coronation, after police seized lock-on devices.

Footage on Twitter showed officers using their powers under the new Public Order Act, as chief executive of anti-monarchy group Republic, Graham Smith, was among those apprehended in St Martin’s Lane near Trafalgar Square.

Pictures showed demonstrators in yellow “Not My King” T-shirts, including Mr Smith, having their details taken.

In one video an officer said: “I’m not going to get into a conversation about that, they are under arrest, end of.”

The Metropolitan Police confirmed four people were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance on St Martin’s Lane and that lock-on devices were seized.

The force also said they made a number of breaching-the-peace arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace and a further three arrests in the Wellington Arch area on suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage.

Just Stop Oil told the PA news agency a protester was arrested in Piccadilly on their way to the Mall on Saturday.

Handcuffed

Footage from the Mall also showed about 15 protesters being handcuffed and taken away by a heavy police presence.

On Wednesday the Metropolitan Police said they would have an “extremely low threshold” for protests during the coronation celebrations, and that demonstrators could expect “swift action”.

Under the controversial new Public Order Act, protesters who have an object with the intention of using it to “lock on” are liable to a fine, with those who block roads facing 12 months in prison.

Critics previously hit out at plans from the Met to use facial recognition software on crowds to assist their policing operations.

An official letter warning of the new powers was sent to Republic, which said its campaign around the coronation would proceed as planned.

Just after 7.30am on Saturday, one woman in a Republic T-shirt was carried away by officers during an interview with the PA news agency.

Before being arrested, she said: “We had a delivery of placards ready for the protest and then the tactical support unit questioned us as to how we we had got through the road closures.

“They questioned whether what we were doing was a delivery.

“They then said they found evidence of means of locking on, of items that could be used to lock on, and they arrested us.”

Officers carried her away from where she had been standing outside a Tesco store.

Two men who appeared to have been part of the same demonstration were carried away by officers into a marked police van.

After the apparent arrests, Republic activist Luke Whiting, 26, told PA: “Six Republic members have been arrested including the CEO as the demonstration was starting at the edge of Trafalgar Square.

“It is unclear why, potentially it is because one of them was carrying a megaphone.

“It is unclear exactly whether the police are using these new powers and whether they are misusing them to stop protest happening.”

The policing operation will see 11,500 police on duty on Saturday.


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Dai Rob
Dai Rob
9 months ago

The UK is a terror state.
I will be at the demo in Caerdydd….loud & proud!
#NotMyKing

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
9 months ago

God Save Our Fascist King!

Bob Avis
Bob Avis
9 months ago

Welcome to life in a police state.

Gareth
Gareth
9 months ago

The police were harrassing and dispersing Indy supporters last June before the Cymru v Ukraine football game, did anybody think they were going to allow a show of opposition to this freak show in London today ?

Last edited 9 months ago by Gareth
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
9 months ago

Clearly the Metropolitan Police are doing the dirty work for the Tories (again). Remember the Miner’s Strike.

The Met aren’t fit for purpose and should be disbanded.

As for the police, once a mochyn always a mochyn.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
9 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

The most corrupt police force in the UK.

I quite like Windsor Davies
I quite like Windsor Davies
9 months ago

China, Russia, Iran, Iraq,North Korea etc would have imprisoned, executed, shot, or beaten any protestor, whether man, woman or child without hesitation. I’m so glad I haven’t returned to such a sour, bitter nation as wails since i was abused with my family there when I was an 8 year old.

Reginald Bowler
Reginald Bowler
9 months ago

It is good that these people were arrested. They would have disrupted a state occasion, harmed the UK in other countries eyes, and caused great anger with them personally, as well as harming their own cause.

There is a time and place for protest. This was not it.

There are other ways of protesting than what they planned.

The original mark
The original mark
9 months ago

And what exactly did they plan? Stand around and wave a few banners, shout “not my king” you’re talking like they were trying to start another civil war round heads and cavaliers, twp. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Simon
Simon
9 months ago

When is the time to protest against the monarchy? What are the other ways to protest against the monarchy? Westminster is opposed to free speech not matter who is government.

What did the illegal war in iraq do for this country in other countries eyes.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
9 months ago

So let me be clear, you’re glad that the right to peaceful protest has been taken away? You’re glad that we live in a fascist state?

Vladimir Sunak and Suella Putin would be proud of you.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
9 months ago

3 young men murdered in east London as 11,500 Met cops guard the new King against dozens of republican placards…

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
9 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Yes that really makes the situation clear – the Met is now the private army of the Tory party and their rich donors. They are also liars. Republic’s plans have been clear and explicit for some time. Grahm Smith also took the trouble to liase with senior police officer(s) who were quite clear that no, peaceful protest as planned was fine and that they had no intentioon of getting involved. As for ‘lock on devices’ they are known as handcuffs and the only folk who had them were the Met.

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