An activist at the Black Lives Matter protest in London on June 7th was filmed and pictured attempting to set fire to the flags which adorn the Cenotaph, the United Kingdom’s national war memorial.
The Cenotaph — “empty tomb” — was dedicated the memory of “The Glorious Dead” in the wake of the First World War, and is the focus of ceremonies honouring the fallen from throughout the British Isles and the former British Empire, of all colours, at several points during the year,
Its vandalisation with “BLM” graffiti on June 6th — the anniversary of the D-Day landings — while many veterans remained unable to attend memorial ceremonies due the coronavirus lockdown, caused considerable public upset, and this escalation of the efforts to desecrate it are likely to inflame feeling still further.
Now attempting to burn our country’s flag on The Cenotaph. pic.twitter.com/dcM4Dpupcb
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) June 7, 2020
Video uploaded to social media shows a protester who has clambered onto the war memorial attempting to set one of the flags which adorn it on fire with a lighter.
Some members of the public attempt to put a stop to it, but are soon cleared away from the base of the monument by the police — who appear to do little but attempt to coax the protester to come down voluntarily.
— Noel Phillips (@Noel_Phillips) June 7, 2020
Further footage, seemingly shot later in the day, as the light has fallen, showed the protester still on the memorial, swinging wildly from the flags — an act of desecration which earned Charlie Gilmour, son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, a prison sentence in 2011 — with police standing around nearby.