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Disturbing attacks on Metropolitan police officers has been condemned by the London Mayor and the Home Secretary after the anti-lockdown protest in London yesterday. The British capital descended into chaos on Saturday afternoon as police tried to break up the demonstration against the lockdown restrictions. Footage online showed police officers being attacked by groups of protesters in tense clashes in both Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park.
The protest on Saturday was called to mark six months since the passage of the Coronavirus Act, which gave the government wide-ranging powers to enact public restrictions.
Police officers were deployed to break up the protest after thousands of people defied mask-wearing rules and violated social distancing guidelines.
At around 3pm, the Met said the crowds had not “complied with the conditions of their risk assessment and are putting people in danger of transmitting the virus”.
Videos from the scene showed police officers storming into the protest and using batons against protesters, leaving some bleeding with visible head injuries.
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One clip showed an elderly protester be knocked to the ground by police officers in Trafalgar Square.
Other footage showed furious protesteres pelting police officers with bottles as the protest turned violent.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that 16 people were arrested “for a variety of offences” while nine police officers were injured.
Two of the officers injured needed hospital treatment, according to the Metropolitan Police.
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Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the scenes, tweeting: “It is galling to see the police having to deal with people intent on causing trouble and harm at the anti-lockdown protests.
“The police are here to look after us. The lockdown rules are here to stop the virus spreading and to save lives.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan accused protesters of “reckless and violent behaviour” towards police.
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He said: “We cannot let the sacrifices Londoners have made be undermined by the selfish behaviour of a small number.”
After officers broke up the Trafalgar Square rally, many protesters moved to Hyde Park.
Police said the protesters did not have permission to be there in such numbers and declared it an illegal gathering, before breaking up that rally.
Some protesters at the rally demonstrated against mass vaccinations, mandatory wearing of face masks and other coronavirus restrictions.
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