The London Metropolitan police on Saturday made around 32 arrests during a mass demonstration in central London organized against the new coronavirus restrictions and mass vaccinations put in place to curb the recent rise in the number of contagious infections.
Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters were estimated to have joined the rally in Trafalgar Square and 5G conspiracy theorists, coronavirus sceptics and 'anti-vaxxers' were among them.
Around 3 pm, scuffles broke out as the police moved in on demonstrators, who defied coronavirus laws without putting on masks and forming human blockades in an attempt to prevent arrests and initially forced officers to move back.
Demonstrators advanced on police while shouting "choose your side" and some were seen throwing objects at officers during a largely peaceful demonstration on Saturday afternoon. The protestors descended upon Nelson's column in central London, carrying placards branding Covid-19 as the "pandemic."
Others carried cards that read, "This is now tyranny," in reference to tightening lockdown restrictions across the country. Several people held up signs opposing vaccinations and 5G technology, while others waved St George flags.
The police on foot as well as horseback attempted to break up the gathering, but one protester hit a London taxi driver as he attempted to move his car through a wave of people. Another protestor's large dog reportedly escaped from its lead and ran around near to the National Gallery as chaos ensued.
Pictures from the protest show police wearing masks attempting to reason with cheering and chanting individuals. It has come just days after the Metropolitan police deployed officers across the capital city to enforce new restrictions, which were introduced last Monday.
Social gatherings are now limited from 30 people to six, while the administration described the measures as vital to saving lives.
A further 16 people, who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital in England, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 29,735, NHS England said on Saturday.
Professor Neil Ferguson, whose modelling led the government to order the lockdown in March, urged ministers to act "sooner rather than later" as cases are on the rise. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also to consider new restrictions across England after the latest figures showed new infections doubling every week, with the R rate between 1.1 and 1.4.
Notice how differently the police are treating them compared to those they kneel to?— haymansafc #KBF (@haymansafc) September 19, 2020
These days you're a 'conspiracy theorist' if you don't accept authoritarian rules based on notably left wing 'experts'#endlockdown #LocalLockdowns #TrafalgarSquarehttps://t.co/BSQEikDsPA
#TrafalgarSquare #antilockdownprotest : I am ? % sure that during the #SecondWave & the probable shortage of beds ventilators, they will do the honourable thing and deny themselves medical care in favour of #SocialDistancing and mask wearing people. They are the selfless type. https://t.co/QkKjwaCNVZ— Cllr Stephanie Inglesfield ? #RejoinEU (@SInglesfield) September 19, 2020