23 people were arrested for offences including assaulting police officers at the Antifa and Black Lives Matter demonstrations in London on Sunday.
The police offered very little resistance to the unauthorised demonstrations, which shut down streets, left commuters stranded among the crowds thronging the roads, paying absolutely no heed to the coronavirus lockdown regulations which have, up until now, been enforced with draconian enthusiasm. UK state broadcaster the BBC reported that 23 individuals were arrested in the course of the protest. Three were for breaching coronavirus lockdown rules, and two for assaulting police officers.
The demonstrations were said to have been held in aid of George Floyd, who died while being taken in custody in distance Minneapolis, on the other side of the Atlantic, by a police officer who has now been charged with third-degree murder and negligent manslaughter.
Video footage uploaded by MailOnline shows activists in London chanting “No justice, no peace!” and scuffling with officers as they lead away a woman in handcuffs near a police van, with at least one drawing his baton as the crowd becomes increasingly rowdy.
Scuffles elsewhere have been shared by outlets such as LBC News, whose reporter Rachel Gerrish reported seeing “drinks thrown, but barely any social distancing” while at the scene.
Officers have been engaging and consistently policing all gatherings this weekend, encouraging all to comply with the regulations to keep everyone safe.
— Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) May 31, 2020
The general posture of the Metropolitan Police towards activists, some of whom carried the Antifa banner and signs bearing slogans such as “THE UK IS NOT INNOCENT” and “BLACK RAGE IS JUSTIFIED”, has been one of appeasement, with the number of arrests very small compared to the number of people openly flouting lockdown regulations despite the continuing government policy on lockdown in response to the Wuhan virus pandemic.
Pictures and video of activists breaking the lockdown rules are readily available, with Breitbart London reporter Kurt Zindulka recording one taking up a megaphone and declaring: “It’s time to wake up and get out the house and fuck this place up, man. I’m tired of this shit. We need to burn this shit down. I don’t care what the London mayor says. The West is falling! The West is falling!”
But the police have expressed little interest in pursuing any of the lockdown breakers, at least publicly, merely tweeting that “Officers have been engaging and consistently policing all gatherings this weekend, encouraging all to comply with the regulations to keep everyone safe.”
Police and protesters have clashed after police tried to move the #BlackLivesMatter protest on.
— LBC News (@LBCNews) May 31, 2020