18 arrested in London anti-lockdown protest

Updated: Oct 25,2020 10:06 GMT

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IANS

London, Oct 25 (IANS) At least 18 people were arrested at a protest in London which was staged against the UK government's cornavirus-induced lockdown restrictions, the media reported.

On Saturday, large crowds, carrying placards calling for "freedom" and an end to the "tyranny" of the restrictions, gathered outside the Buckingham Palace before moving on to Trafalgar Square, the BBC reported.

According to the Metropolitan Police, the arrests were made for a variety of offences, including breaching Covid-19 regulations, assaulting an emergency service worker and for violent disorder.

"Organisers did not take reasonable steps to keep protesters safe which then voided their risk assessment... Officers then took action to disperse crowds in the interests of public safety," the BBC quoted Met Commander Ade Adelekan as saying in a statement.

"I am grateful that the vast majority of people listened to officers and quickly left the area. Frustratingly, a small minority became obstructive, deliberately ignoring officers' instructions and blocking Westminster Bridge."

The protest came as London was placed under Tier-Two lockdown restrictions last week.

It includes no household mixing outdoors, rule of six will apply in all public spaces and pubs and restaurants will shut at 10 p.m. daily.

The new Three-Tier Covid-19 alert system set out by Prime minister Johnson came into force last week across England as the country struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

The alert system comprises three levels: "Medium", "High" and "Very High" with the level being decided according to local infection rates.

The UK has so far reported a total of 857,043 coronavirus cases and 44,835 deaths.

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