UK: Huge Crowds Ignore Lockdowns to Celebrate Pakistan Independence Day, Attack Police

Pakistan
@LFC_blano via Twitter

Huge crowds defied lockdowns and attacked police officers to celebrate Pakistan Independence Day on English streets on Friday and Saturday.

Deputy Chief Constable Ian Pilling, of Greater Manchester Police (GMP), said the behaviour of the revellers was “beyond comprehension”, adding: “I can honestly say that, in 30 years of policing, I have never seen anything quite as outrageous as this behaviour.”

Viral videos of illegal street party’s in city’s famous ‘Curry Mile’ — named for the many South Asian restaurants it hosts — shows closely-packed, largely maskless and male-dominated crowds climbing on cars and street fixtures, dancing to traditional instruments and waving Pakistani flags.

There is also footage of crowds surrounding police constables attempting to bring the situation under control, jostling officers and jeering “f*** the police” and ultimately driving them off the street.

“The last thing we need is large gatherings such as this, as well as unacceptable attacks on officers attending the scene,” said Deputy Chief Constable Pilling, likely referring to the fact that Manchester has been put into a local lockdown by the central government due to its disproportionate rate of coronavirus infections.

“People behaving in this way are contributing to an already difficult situation,” Pilling added.

Such illegal celebrations were not just confined to areas of Manchester, however, with the Evening Standard sharing footage of a large gathering in Sadiq Khan’s London.

“I am fed up of people who think social distancing and wearing face coverings do not apply to them when it’s something they want to do,” commented a frustrated Kam Rai, deputy leader of the local council, which had pleaded with people to mark the event at home.

“Let me be clear: the risk has not gone away and the disease is still deadly,” Rai added.

“If you need to celebrate, be smart – do it online, at home with your family. These unsafe large gatherings risk undoing all the hard work we have put in over the past four months. It’s time everyone took personal responsibility and follow the rules.”

The mainstream media has made much of the fact that BAME or BME (Black and Minority Ethnic or Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) people in Britain appear to have been afflicted with a disproportionately high coronavirus infection rate — although speculation as to why has been limited to suggesting “systemic” or “institutional” racism is the cause of this, rather than any tendency towards high-risk behaviour in BAME communities.

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