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Public ‘absolutely’ has right to anti-monarchy protests, say police

13 Sep 2022 2 minute read
People protest ahead of the Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Cardiff Castle. Photo Ben Birchall PA Images

Police have said “the public absolutely have a right to protest” during the days following the death of the Queen.

The arrests of anti-monarchy protesters after the death of the Queen have been described as “deeply concerning” and an “affront to democracy” by free speech and human rights campaigners.

Since the proclamation of King Charles III, at least three arrests have been made in Scotland and Oxford on suspicion of breach of the peace and public order offences, while another protester was also moved on by police in Westminster, central London.

In Wales, there were also protests at the accession proclamation in Cardiff, with a small group holding anti-monarchy signs.

The Metropolitan Police force issued a statement following a viral video from Parliament Square in the centre of London, when a barrister who was holding up a blank piece of paper was asked for his details by a police officer.

Barrister Paul Powlesland said the officer told him he risked being arrested if he wrote “not my King” on the paper.

Mr Powlesland Tweeted yesterday: “Just went to Parliament Square & held up a blank piece of paper. Officer came & asked for my details. He confirmed that if I wrote “Not My King” on it, he would arrest me under the Public Order Act because someone might be offended.”

Right to protest

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stuart Cundy said: “We’re aware of a video online showing an officer speaking with a member of the public outside the Palace of Westminster earlier today.

“The public absolutely have a right of protest and we have been making this clear to all officers involved in the extraordinary policing operation currently in place and we will continue do so.

“However, the overwhelming majority of interactions between officers and public at this time have been positive as people have come to the capital to mourn the loss of Her Late Majesty the Queen.”

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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
4 months ago

….and this is why the Policing Bill and Act was such a dangerous thing…..and it is yet another reason to add to the massive pile of reasons we should be independent in Cymru. Freedom of speech, I have been told many times when complaining about something being transphobic or racist that freedom of speech means that we run the risk of offence… When Dave Chapelle says disgusting things about transpeople, when Ricky Gervais does the same, we are told “freedom of speech” and these men get a huge round of applause, Netflix specials and a boost to their ticket numbers… Read more »

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Well said. I am horrified at this attack on people’s freedom to peacefully express opinions and protest. I think you have hit the nail on the head.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 months ago

Surely that video shows police intimidating an innocent citizen.
Politicians, your response please??

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
4 months ago

The statement by the muppet MET deputy assistant commissioner doesn’t even acknowledge that people are protesting opposite ‘mourners’. As for this shower of s**t with a warrant card, he is offensive and should therefore do us all a favour and arrest himself for a crime against humanity. He’s a bully with power! There’s a word for jack booted prats like that!!

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
4 months ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

Looking at the video clip without the sound, “overweight” was the word that occurred…

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