It is the most recent in a string of arrests made in advance of today’s coronation ceremony. On his way to a protest site, the leader of the anti-monarchy group Republic was led away in a police van, while more than a dozen Just Stop Oil protesters were detained on the National Mall.
A man with an unused loudhailer was detained in St James’s Park because it could ‘frighten the horses’.
Sky’s Jason Farrell reported that an officer said the protester “was in a crowd of monarchists and the loudhailer could cause them distress.” Police were seen surrounding a handcuffed demonstrator in a London park, and Sky’s Jason Farrell reported that an officer explained that the protester “was in a crowd of monarchists and the loudhailer could cause them distress.”
In the hours before the King’s coronation, JSO, AR, and Republic members were detained. One advocacy group called the scenario a “totalitarian crackdown” after police employed excessive force.
Among those detained is the leader of the anti-monarchy group Republic, who has led away in a police van at 7 a.m. as he made his way to a designated protest site, as well as protesters from Just Stop Oil who were arrested on the Mall near Buckingham Palace shortly thereafter for planning to cross the barrier.
JSO denies that twenty of its members were arrested for “wearing T-shirts” and attempting to jump the barrier.
AR claimed that some supporters were detained this morning at a nonviolent training kilometres from the coronation. Multiple times, the group has verified that it would not target the day’s events.
AR spokesman Nathan McGovern stated, “This is nothing less than a totalitarian onslaught on free speech and all forms of dissent. Today, Just Stop Oil, Republic, and Animal Rising have encountered the true nature of the Government’s stance on peaceful protest.
“We are sleepwalking into fascism, and it is the responsibility of every single person to stand up and say ‘no more’.”
One officer can be heard on the video stating, “They are under arrest, period.”
Scotland Yard reported that four individuals have been detained on “suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance” after lock-on devices were discovered in their possession. Three additional individuals were arrested at Wellington Arch on suspicion of possessing items that could cause criminal damage.
Five protesters were also apprehended at Downing Street, according to a JSO spokesperson.
She stated that the group intended to “only display T-shirts and flags” and added, “This is a dystopian nightmare.”
Some individuals approached demonstrators wearing handcuffs and told them to “shut up,” while others jeered and laughed at the group.
The “worrisome” use of new powers
Luke Whiting, a 26-year-old Republican activist, stated that the group was detained while attempting to bring yellow placards to a demonstration and questioned whether this was because ‘one of them was carrying a loudhailer’.
“It appears [the protesters] were detained using these new authorities. We were quite startled by the occurrence, which is quite alarming.
According to him, the group has been “open” with the police about their intentions.
“They’ve said it’s perfectly legal for us to bring placards, bring flags, and protest the coronation,” he continued. In a democratic society, it is our fundamental right to act peacefully, and that is what we intend to do.
Yasmine Ahmed, the organization’s UK director, said in a statement, “Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power accountable, something the UK government appears to be increasingly opposed to.”
On Saturday, 11,500 police officers will be assigned to the policing operation.
Amnesty International UK’s chief executive, Sacha Deshmukh, expressed concern over the force’s statements regarding its “low tolerance” for protesters before the arrests.
He stated, “We need to see what information emerges about these incidents. But possessing a loudhailer or carrying placards should never be grounds for an arrest.”
The police “discovered evidence of locking on”
A lady caught in a Republic T-shirt said the group was questioned about how they avoided road closures.
“We received a shipment of placards for the protest, and then the tactical support unit questioned us on how we had navigated the road closures,” she explained.
Why have demonstrators taken to the streets?
Imogen McBeath from No More Royals stated, “I do not believe power should be passed from one nepotistic child to the next.”
There is no qualification they possess that gives them divine authority to rule.
“If they wanted to make an effort, they would acknowledge where their wealth originates – colonisation.” She said of the King’s efforts to shrink the monarchy.
They would return the jewels and artifacts they have seized.
Republic’s Luke Whiting estimates the coronation might cost up to 250 million pounds in a cost of living crisis. I believe people are truly stunned by that.”