Public ‘absolutely’ has right to anti-monarchy protests, say police
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.
— Paul Powlesland (@paulpowlesland) September 12, 2022
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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