Scuffles broke out near the National Gallery where police officers were pushed back by the loud crowd of people who began cheering and chanting
Scuffles have broken out between demonstrators and police at a rally in Trafalgar Square organised by opponents of coronavirus lockdown measures.
Metropolitan Police officers moved in on the protesters as they congregated near Nelson’s column on Saturday and warned those present to disperse or face arrest.
The protesters formed human blockades opposite the officers to stop them from making arrests.
Scuffles broke out between the two sides next to the National Gallery, before officers were pushed back by the loud crowd, who began cheering and chanting.
The ‘Resist And Act For Freedom’ rally saw scores of people gather holding banners and chanting ‘freedom’.
Organisers sold t-shirts bearing 5G conspiracy theories and advocating the legalisation of cannabis as a range of speeches were made to the crowd.
One protester held a banner calling for the Government’s Sage scientific advisers to be sacked, while another’s declared Covid-19 a ‘hoax’.
Addressing the crowd to huge cheers, organiser Kate Shemirani said: “We are the resistance.”
A University College Dublin professor told the anti-vax rally the coronavirus vaccine will ‘make people sick’.
Professor Dolores Cahill told the crowd: “We want freedom, truth and love.
“I know that vaccines make people sick, you should not trust the Government, the doctors and the media, they are lying about the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Vaccines have not been safety-tested, they tell you when you take a vaccine you’ll get a little bit of swelling, is that true? No.
“You can get multiple sclerosis and allergies, when I talk to parents, there are 12 known diseases you can get.
“If you’re a parent, auntie, grandparent, cousin or neighbour, we’re here to say the truth will come out.”
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Protesters were ordered to disperse or face arrest, the Metropolitan Police said.
The force said those attending the Trafalgar Square event are ‘putting themselves and others at risk’ and some had been ‘hostile’ and ‘violent’ towards officers who had attempted to ‘explain, engage and encourage them to leave’.
A statement said: “This, coupled with pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers, means we will now be taking enforcement action to disperse those who remain in the area. Those who remain may get arrested.
“It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives.
“We encourage those in attendance to leave the area immediately.”