UK Police Admit BLM Protests Unlawful, But Won’t Enforce Lockdown for Fear of ‘Serious Disorder’

Black Lives Matter
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London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said that mass Black Lives Matter protests are still illegal under the nation’s national lockdown laws, yet have admitted that they are unlikely to prevent them from happening for fear of sparking “serious disorder” if the lockdown is enforced.

Black Lives Matter protests over the death of U.S. national George Floyd took place across the United Kingdom over the weekend despite fears of a second wave of the Chinese coronavirus.

The Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the MPS, Laurence Taylor, said of the planned protests that the “health protection regulations are really clear that it is unlawful” but conceded implicitly that they would be allowed to go on anyway, urging those attending to “observe social distancing” to prevent the spread of the virus, according to the BBC.

Exactly how anyone could have obeyed social distancing at the crowd gatherings remains unclear, and previous illegal BLM protests had already seen thousands of activists shoulder to shoulder in marches across the British capital on Wednesday and last Sunday.

Adopting an appeasing tone, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that “Like so many, I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset, but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat, [but] the reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.”

“So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations of more than six people,” Hancock urged.

This advice was not heeded, however, with police assaulted and statues and war memorials vandalised across the country in protests which were, if anything, more crowded and fractious than those which had gone before.

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Cressida Dick, admitted that police feared to implement a wider crackdown on the protests as upholding the law would spark “serious disorder” in the country’s multicultural capital — despite vigorously enforcing the lockdown against a small anti-lockdown protest just days earlier.

Dick tried to cover her back by calling on people to put themselves said “in the shoes of a public order commander” when facing a larges demonstration that refuses to abide by officer instructions to disperse.

“Then you have to make some judgments, at the time, in the moment about what is the best thing to do,” she said per The Guardian.

“Judgments, have been made, that people are out in such numbers, feeling so strongly, and are refusing to disperse when asked, that the officers have formed the view that if they were to try at that stage, with those sorts of numbers, to enforce en masse, we probably would have ended up with very serious disorder and a bad situation, a difficult situation, a challenging situation for everybody, turning into a violent situation. So, these are the sorts of risks that public order commanders have [to assess],” Dick pleaded.

The Met’s lax approach to enforcing the lockdown and acts of contrition by officers, such as London police officers kneeling to protestors, did little to calm the mood of the mob.

On Wednesday, protestors were filmed violently attacking officers outside Number 10 Downing Street, contradicting the mainstream media narrative that the demonstrations were “peaceful” — a pattern which continued at the protests over the past weekend.

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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