Large groups attended a protest over the weekend at London’s Hyde Park, in order to publicly demonstrate against the Government’s lockdown policy
While many Brits are adhering to the strict social distancing and quarantine rules – and many avoiding them altogether by flooding to National Parks during the recent warm weather – activists swarmed in large groups over the weekend to London’s Hyde Park in order to publicly revolt against the Government’s strict lockdown policy, labelling COVID-19 a “fake” virus, and the lockdown measures simply tyrannical measures to keep everybody under control.
Among the protesters was parliament member Jeremy Corbyn’s brother. Piers Corbyn reportedly branded the virus:
“a pack of lies to brainwash you and keep you in order.”
He was one of several people to have been arrested during the protest on Saturday and was led away by police in handcuffs. Many other protestors were issued with fines.
Social distancing measures were blatantly ignored by the protest group, consisting of around 50 people, displaying placards and signs which denounced the virus and attacked the Government over their alleged control.
One of the protestors in London, a finance worker, named David Sampson, stated that he chose to attend the protest in support due to the fact that he “never thought I’d see in my generation the suppressing of civil rights.”
This protest arises amidst the speculation of conspiracy theories in regard to the origin of the Coronavirus, one of which outlines the pandemic as a result of 5G phone masts being erected. The theories have become so severe that arson attacks have even been made on some of these 5G phone masts in Britain.
This comes after phone masts across the UK have been damaged amidst baseless conspiracy theories linking 5G to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Furthermore, in light of this protest, what has been highlighted even more sufficiently is the lack of protection police officers face during these difficult times. Police patrols were forced to descend on the protestors in their own groups, with significantly limited face masks and exposed to lack of social distancing.
While it’s clear that emergency and essential workers have been at the forefront of exposure during the pandemic, it’s even more clear that police are even more at risk due to the behaviours of those flouting lockdown protocol, such as the protestors in Hyde Park.
Another of these protestors, 62-year-old Catherine Harvey, who owns a shop on Columbia Road Flower Market, declared:
“The effects of the lockdown are far, far worse than the virus – mental health, domestic violence, shops are closed, theatres, cinemas, restaurants. It’s unnecessary.”
While no one can deny the difficulties faced during the repercussions of lockdown and the virus, all closing down measures have been for the safety of UK residents – and those across the world, too.
In response to the Hyde Park protests, the Met Police’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner expressed his open disappointment. Laurence Taylor said:
“It was disappointing that a relatively small group in Hyde Park came together to protest the regulations in clear breach of the guidance.”
In doing so they were:
“putting themselves and others at risk of infection.”
Officers in the area took a measured approach and tried to engage the group to disperse, stating: “They clearly had no intention of doing so, and so it did result in 19 people being arrested, and a further 10 being issued with a fixed penalty notice.”
This news comes after Extinction Rebellion groups have been holding peaceful and socially distanced protests throughout the UK, calling for the government to take a ‘no going back’ approach after the pandemic.