Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protesters joined forces to march through London Saturday in defiance of the nationwide lockdown, prompting 155 arrests.
About 400 demonstrators led by the group Save Our Rights UK carried signs saying “Defend Freedom, Defend Humanity,” and “No more lies, no more masks, no more lockdowns,” as they marched through central London’s West End shopping district and in St James’s Park, near Westminster.
England’s current lockdown ends Wednesday. Tiered restrictions are slated to come into force when the wider lockdown ends.
Cops lining the streets were booed and met with chants of “shame on you,” the BBC reported, as the demonstrators, many not wearing face masks, ignored requests to leave.
The Metropolitan Police said they had intercepted and turned back buses full of people attempting to join the demonstrations. Civil rights groups have argued that the right to safely protest should be explicitly exempt from virus-related restrictions.
About 155 demonstrators were arrested, according to Reuters, for offenses ranging from assaulting a police officer, to possession of drugs and breaching coronavirus restrictions.