England Lockdown: Revellers Clashed with Police on Final Night of Freedom

Anti-capitalist protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks clash with British police during the "Million Masks March", organised by the group Anonymous, near the Houses of Parliament in central London on November 5, 2015. The protest was held on the night of Britain's Guy Fawkes Night, and many of the marchers wore …
JACK TAYLOR/AFP via Getty Images

Chaotic scenes were witnessed across England on the eve of the second national lockdown as revellers clashed with police on the final night of freedom for at least the next four weeks in the country.

On Wednesday, the House of Commons passed Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown proposal by a margin of 516 to 38, which ordered the closure of all “non-essential” businesses, including pubs and restaurants, supposedly until December 2nd.

Following the vote, Britons across the country poured onto the streets to celebrate their last night of freedom.

Things took a violent turn, however, in Merseyside, where police broke up celebrations on the eve of Bonfire Night for violations to the regional coronavirus restrictions that were already in place.

Police issued three COVID-19 £10,000 fines for alleged breaches of the lockdown after a bonfire party was held on public land in the Wirral. Two men, aged 36, and a 43-year-old woman were handed fixed penalty notices for the supposed breaches.

As local police and firefighters descended on the party, a number of young people began launching fireworks at the emergency workers. Thankfully, no one was injured in the attack, according to a police statement.

Chief Inspector Matthew Moscrop said: “There was a blatant disregard for COVID-19 restrictions, with hundreds of people in attendance drinking alcohol, mixing with other households and ignoring social distancing.”

“We have consistently encouraged people to comply with guidance and explained why it is so important. But when someone so brazenly flouts legislation it leaves us with no option but to take strong enforcement action,” he added.

CI Moscrop encouraged people to abide by the restrictions and avoid having any bonfires or parties on Thursday, saying that the police “will not hesitate” to take action against any illegal gatherings.

“We have now entered a month of further national restrictions, and it is more important than ever that we all play our role in stopping the spread of coronavirus,” he concluded.

Elsewhere across England, a mass brawl erupted in the beachside city of Brighton, where approximately 20 people engaged in the violence, two of whom were arrested. One man suffered serious injuries and was hospitalised.

In Central London, revellers packed into bars in the popular nighttime district of Soho. No arrests were recorded, according to the BBC. Others packed into their cars to flee the city into the countryside before the lockdown restrictions came into place.

On Thursday, a ‘Million Mask‘ demonstration was planned by the anti-lockdown activist group Stand Up X in London.

The march coincided with Guy Fawkes Night, the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the State Opening of Parliament in 1605.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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