At least 36 arrested as anti-lockdown protesters clash with Police in London

At least thirty six people have been arrested during a demonstration in central London against coronavirus restrictions and mass vaccinations.

More than a thousand people are estimated to have joined the rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday, hurling missiles at police and assaulting officers.

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Reports say demonstrators trailed by police paraded banners and lit flares as they walked from Hyde Park along Oxford Street, Chancery Lane, the Embankment and Parliament Square before heading up Whitehall.

Police officers were forced to retreat back to their vans, as protesters threw bottles and cans.

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Similar demonstrations took place in Manchester as hundreds of people gathered outside the National Football Museum before marching to Greater Manchester Police’s headquarters claiming lockdown was a “crime”.

There were no reports of any arrests in Manchester, where separate marches by Black Lives Matter protesters and demonstrators against violence towards women also took place.

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The protests came as a group of cross-party MPs and peers wrote to Home Secretary Priti Patel to ask her to lift a ban on protests during the COVID-19 lockdown in the wake of confrontations with police at a vigil in south London following the killing of Sarah Everard.

More than 60 MPs and peers signed the letter to the home secretary and warned that allowing the police to criminalise people for protesting is “not acceptable and is arguably not lawful”.

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Protesting is not listed as a “reasonable excuse” for leaving home under the government’s coronavirus regulations.

Saturday’s clashes come a week after the Met faced criticism for its handling of a vigil on Clapham Common in memory of Everard.

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