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Anti-mask mayhem in Trafalgar Square: Conspiracy theorists clash with police

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions.  

An army of Metropolitan Police officers moved in on angry demonstrators defying coronavirus laws against mass gatherings as they descended upon Nelson’s column in central London in their droves.

The protesters, who carried placards warning ‘this is now tyranny’ and ‘plandemic’ formed human blockades opposite the officers to stop them from making arrests before fighting broke out in front of the National Gallery. 

Outnumbered officers were pushed back by the huge crowd, which began cheering and chanting ‘freedom’ while organisers of the Resist And Act For Freedom rally sold T-shirts bearing 5G conspiracy theories. 

Police on horseback later moved in for a second attempt to break up the gathering in Trafalgar Square. Traffic was brought to a halt as protesters erected a blockade in a bid to prevent officers from making arrests.

One protester hit a London taxi after the driver beeped in frustration, then appeared to spit through the window at the driver. Another protester’s large dog escaped from its lead and ran around near to the National Gallery.  

Demonstrators listened to speeches by anti-mask protesters including Kate Shemirani, a suspended nurse who compared Covid restrictions to the Holocaust, and Professor Dolores Cahill of University College Dublin – who was forced to resign from an EU scientific committee in June over claims she made about the pandemic.  

Their anger is directed at Government rules which compel people to wear face masks in public spaces and social distancing, while others protested against what they fear will lead to compelled vaccination. 

Prof Cahill told the crowd the anti-Covid vaccine will ‘make people sick’. She claimed: ‘We want freedom, truth and love… You should not trust the Government, the doctors and the media, they are lying about the Covid-19 vaccine.

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

‘Vaccines have not been safety-tested, they tell you when you take a vaccine you’ll get a little bit of swelling, is that true? No. You can get multiple sclerosis and allergies, when I talk to parents, there are 12 known diseases you can get. If you’re a parent, auntie, grandparent, cousin or neighbour, we’re here to say the truth will come out.’ 

One protester held a banner calling for the Government’s SAGE advisers to be sacked, while another’s declared Covid-19 a ‘hoax’. Addressing the crowd to huge cheers, organiser Ms Shemirani said: ‘We are the resistance.’ 

In a statement today, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Police are aware of a number of people gathered to protest today in Trafalgar Square. As indicated previously, officers have been in attendance and adopted the four Es approach to explain, engage and encourage them to leave throughout today.

‘Despite this, protesters have remained, putting themselves and others at risk. This, coupled with pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers, means we will now be taking enforcement action to disperse those who remain in the area. Those who remain may get arrested.

‘It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives. 

‘We encourage those in attendance to leave the area immediately.’

It follows the Metropolitan Police deploying officers across the capital city to enforce new coronavirus restrictions, which were introduced last Monday, limiting social gatherings from 30 people to six.  

Yesterday the force warned: ‘It is important to remember that we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, and the changes have been introduced to help control the spread of the virus, keep everybody safe and save lives. 

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

‘Officers will patrol public spaces and will also respond to incidents where groups gather in numbers larger than six. We will continue to adopt the four Es approach – we will engage with our communities, explain the regulations and what they mean, and encourage people to adhere to them. 

‘Officers do have the power to report people for fixed penalty notices of £100, which doubles for further offences, up to a maximum of £3,200. Throughout this period the vast majority of Londoners have complied with the regulations. We all need to continue to do our part to prevent the spread of the virus. 

‘Please continue to act responsibly – maintain social distancing, respect the new restrictions, and help keep yourself, your friends and family safe. Exceptions to the new restrictions include gatherings organised by certain types of body (such as a business or a charity), having carried out a full risk assessment and taken all steps to limit the transmission of the virus. Other exemptions apply to gatherings that are necessary for the purposes of work, taking part in sports, to protest or to provide emergency assistance.’ 

Today’s protest is the latest mass anti-lockdown gathering in recent weeks, after more than 10,000 protesters – including conspiracy theorists – assembled in Trafalgar Square.

Its organiser, Jeremy Corbyn’s 73-year-old brother Piers, was handed a £10,000 fine for leading the Unite for Freedom rally. The meteorologist was seen being hauled off by officers after the event and his Twitter account has since confirmed he was slapped with the colossal fine and ‘held for ten hours.’

He was among eight other offenders who were fined across the rest of England under new lockdown measures imposed which are designed to stop gatherings of more than 30 people.  

It comes amid reports that Government scientists have encouraged Boris Johnson to impose a second national lockdown as the panicking Prime Minister attempts to regain control of the virus.

Mr Johnson is threatening to ‘intensify’ coronavirus restrictions as he blames the public for the rise in cases – despite his repeated pleas for people to return to their desks and eat out at pubs and restaurants. 

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with riot police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government's coronavirus restrictions

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including conspiracy theorists have clashed with police at a mass rally in Trafalgar Square today organised by opponents of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions

The Prime Minister is looking to ditch his Rule of Six and introduce fortnight-long ‘circuit breakers’ nationwide for six months, following claims that it was ‘inevitable’ that a second wave would hit the country last night.  

The new approach to get the UK through winter would see it alternate periods of stricter measures, including bans on all social contact between households and shutting down hospitality and leisure venues like bars and restaurants, with intervals of relaxation. Schools will be shut as a ‘last resort’, a Whitehall source claimed.

How could the ‘circuit breaker’ work? 

The Government is mulling what has been described as a ‘circuit breaker’ in a bid to stem the spread of coronavirus.

But it would not be quite as draconian as the lockdown that was imposed at the previous height of the crisis in March.

Instead it would be similar to the lockdowns that have been introduced locally in areas with high infection levels. 

Restrictions would be imposed nationwide for perhaps a fortnight, in the hope that short sharp action can break the chain of transmission. 

LOCKED DOWN:  

  • People only allowed to socialise with their own household or support bubble. 
  • Curfews and restrictions on activities in public spaces such as town centres and parks.
  • Face masks need to be worn in more public areas and venues. 
  • Pubs and restaurants and other firms like hairdressers and beauty salons could either be ordered to close altogether, or have their opening hours severely restricted. 
  • The edict to work from home where possible could be reinstated, after Boris Johnson spent months urging people to return to offices. 

UNLOCKED 

  • Non-essential shops and workplaces would stay open, to avoid further disastrous damage to the economy. 
  • Schools would also probably be kept going, after ministers warned of the massive impact on the prospects of pupils. 
  • There is speculation the curbs could be introduced over the half-term at the end of October – if the government can wait that long with cases doubling every eight days.
  • Healthcare and dentistry is likely to be kept going, rather than being reduced to urgent care as in the previous lockdown. 

It is understood that the new ‘circuit break’ shutdown could be announced via television press conference on Tuesday, in a move reminiscent of the Government’s behaviour during the peak of the pandemic. 

Visiting the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre construction site near Oxford, Mr Johnson said: ‘What I can certainly say about parents and schools is we want to keep the schools open, that is going to happen.

‘We want to try and keep all parts of the economy open as far as we possibly can – I don’t think anybody wants to go into a second lockdown but clearly when you look at what is happening, you have got to wonder whether we need to go further than the rule of six that we have brought in on Monday, so we will be looking at the local lockdowns we have got in large parts of the country now, looking at what we can do to intensify things that help bring the rate of infection down there, but also looking at other measures as well.’ 

Officials, including England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, are thought to be arguing for tough restrictions as panic within official circles grows. 

Today the Government’s original lockdown architect, Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London, recommended ‘rolling back’ freedoms ‘sooner rather than later’ by ‘reducing contact rates between people’.  

The epidemiologist, who was sacked from SAGE for flouting his own lockdown rules, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘Right now we’re at about the levels of infections that we were seeing in late February, if we leave it at another two to four weeks we will be back at levels we were seeing more like mid March. 

‘That’s going to clearly cause deaths… I think some additional measures are likely to be needed sooner rather than later, the timing of any more intensive policy, temporary policy, is open to question’. 

But the measures are thought to have been met with protests from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has warned against introducing new blanket restrictions by pointing to huge damage already inflicted to the economy.

Government sources claim that Mr Sunak gave ‘sombre warnings’ to the Prime Minister as he highlighted the severity of the damage caused to the UK economy as a result of the March lockdown – while Mr Johnson shrugged off the ‘grim’ economic forecasts, claiming that ‘he was confident it will all be OK in the end’.  

Business leaders echoed the Chancellor’s concerns and warned that a second lockdown would tank the economy, with the British Chambers of Commerce saying: ‘Uncertainty and speculation around future national restrictions will sap business and consumer confidence at a delicate moment for the economy’. 

The Government’s handling of the crisis is understood to be playing on Mr Johnson’s mind, with No 10 sources insisting he is already eyeing up the next General Election. But with Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party now neck-and-neck with the Tories at the polls, backbenchers – who are angry with Mr Johnson’s ‘madman’ threat to renege on his Brexit divorce deal – could be contemplating a revolt before then. 

The dramatic move came as the UK’s daily infections hit a four-month high of 4,322, with figures showing the outbreak has nearly doubled in size in a week and the R number being potentially as high as 1.4.  

Parts of England are being forced back into lockdown, with curbs including a 10pm curfew on pubs and restaurants and a ban on socialising outside of households across the North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire from Tuesday. A total of around 13 million people are now under under local restrictions.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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