19 Sep Coronavirus conspiracy theorists clash with police at anti-lockdown protest | UK News
Conspiracy theorists have clashed with police in central London during a protest against coronavirus lockdown measures.
Hundreds of demonstrators attended the rally in Trafalgar Square, some of whom became involved in “outbreaks of violence towards officers”, the Metropolitan Police said.
Dozens of officers – including some on horseback – attempted to break up the demonstration, but they were resisted by ranks of protesters who formed human blockades.
There was loud cheering and chanting as some protesters pushed back the police, according to the Press Association news agency.
In a statement, Scotland Yard said that despite officers attempting to “explain, engage and encourage” the protesters to leave the rally, many remained “putting themselves and others at risk”.
As a result, police said they would be taking “enforcement action to disperse those who remain in the area” – warning that those who remained were posing a risk to themselves and others and could be arrested.
Local lockdown measures are being introduced in the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has admitted that national guidance may have to go beyond the current “rule of six”.
Saturday’s demonstration meant traffic around Trafalgar Square was halted, and one protester was seen apparently spitting through the open window of a taxi, with the driver beeping their horn in frustration.
Those organising the rally sold T-shirts featuring 5G conspiracy theories and advocating the legalisation of cannabis.
Banners carried by others in attendance described the COVID-19 pandemic as a hoax, advocated against people wearing masks, and accused the government of concealing the truth.
One of the images created to advertise the “Resist And Act For Freedom” rally showed a vaccine bottle with a call for people to “come together, resist and act”.
Among the scientifically impossible conspiracy theories circulating regarding COVID-19 is one that alleges it is a completely fabricated virus and that the symptoms are in fact the result of 5G telecommunications mast signals.
Some conspiracy theorists believe that the vaccine is a secret plot by the “elites” to implant microchips inside of the population.