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POLICE arrested over 150 people at an anti-lockdown protest in central London over the weekend.
Thousands gathered for the march on Saturday afternoon in Marble Arch despite police warnings that the protests would be unlawful under coronavirus rules on gatherings.
The Metropolitan Police said it had made arrests for a number of offences including coronavirus restriction violations, assault of police officers and possession of illegal drugs.
Protesters, some dressed as Christmas elves and Santa, shouted “freedom” and “shame on you” at the police as they descended on the city centre.
Video footage of clashes showed one protester pinned to the floor by three police.
Civil rights groups have argued that demonstrations should be reinstated as a “reasonable exemption” to restrictions on gatherings.
Big Brother Watch’s director Silkie Carlo said: “The right to protest is the bedrock of any democracy. It’s clear to me that there’s a deliberate attempt to chill that right and misrepresent the law.”
A Met statement said: “Strict regulations have been introduced by the government nationally to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This means that anyone gathering for protest risks enforcement action by officers.”
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