More than 20 anti-monarchy protesters arrested ahead of coronation
More than 20 anti-monarchist protesters are believed to have been arrested during demonstrations in central London ahead of the King’s coronation.
Activists from the group Republic massed along the London route taken by the King and Queen Consort, with hundreds of demonstrators rallying in Trafalgar Square and chanting “Not My King” as the royal procession passed.
Pictures from the scene show a huge swarm of protesters huddled in yellow T-shirts. Several activists can be seen holding placards saying “Abolish the Monarchy” and “#GreedyRoyals”.
“I made a pledge of allegiance to demoncract! Not Charles! He is not my King!”, another sign reads.
It comes just after Republic CEO Graham Smith was pictured being apprehended by police on St Martin’s Lane in Westminster. At least five other members of the group were arrested at around 7am as they brought placards to the demonstration from nearby St Martin-in-the-Fields.
Meanwhile, Just Stop Oil has claimed 20 of its members were arrested while protesting ahead of the coronation.
The eco-activists say several members were handcuffed by The Mall on Saturday morning. A spokesperson for the organisation said a further five demonstrators were arrested at Downing Street.
The group representative said their plan was “only to display T-shirts and flags”, adding: “This is a dystopian nightmare.”
Republic activist Luke Whiting, 26, told the PA news agency: “Six Republic members have been arrested including the CEO as the demonstration was starting at the edge of Trafalgar Square.
This is Kush. He is 33-year-old doctor.
Today he was planning to quietly hold a sign saying JUST STOP OIL, whilst in the crowd for the Coronation. He was arrested along with 20 others.
Free speech is a core British value – and we have just lost it. pic.twitter.com/epCwVlTiM7
— Just Stop Oil (@JustStop_Oil) May 6, 2023
“It is unclear why, potentially it is because one of them was carrying a megaphone.
“It is unclear exactly whether the police are using these new powers and whether they are misusing them to stop protest happening.”
Activist Shelly Asquith posted pictures on Twitter of demonstrators being questioned by officers.
She wrote: “Outrageous scenes of cops arresting anti-monarchy protestors and stealing their placards So we are not allowed to show public opposition to a bloke being crowned head of state for having been born into unimaginable wealth while ppl line up at food banks and schools fall apart.”
The Met warned demonstrators it had an “extremely low threshold” for anyone disrupting, with offenders facing “very swift action”.
Outrageous scenes of cops arresting anti-monarchy protestors and stealing their placards
So we are not allowed to show public opposition to a bloke being crowned head of state for having been born into unimaginable wealth while ppl line up at food banks and schools fall apart pic.twitter.com/klkSjLMAmL
— Shelly Asquith (@ShellyAsquith) May 6, 2023
In recent weeks, Just Stop Oil and animal-rights activists have stormed central London and the Grand National, causing widespread disruption.