Anti-Monarchist Protesters Arrested Ahead of King’s Coronation

Activists detained as thousands of police officers maintain tight security


Several anti-monarchist protesters have been arrested in central London ahead of the King’s coronation. Activists from the group Republic began massing along the London route taken by the King and Queen Consort, with hundreds set to join a rally in Trafalgar Square, chanting “Not My King” as the royal procession passes. Footage on Twitter shows Republic CEO Graham Smith being apprehended by police on St Martin’s Lane in Westminster on Saturday morning.

Police have been seen bundling activists into the back of police vans and confiscating hundreds of “Not My King” banners. About half a dozen protesters were detained by police while they were unloading placards from a van. Republic activist Luke Whiting, 26, said, “Six Republic members have been arrested including the CEO as the demonstration was starting at the edge of Trafalgar Square. It is unclear why, potentially it is because one of them was carrying a megaphone.”

Activist Shelly Asquith posted pictures on Twitter of demonstrators being questioned by officers, condemning the arrests and confiscation of placards as outrageous. The Met Police warned demonstrators of an “extremely low threshold” for anyone disrupting the event, with offenders facing “very swift action.”

Republic says it believes the police misunderstood the nature of their protest, thinking they intended to copy the extreme tactics used by eco-activists. The group claims the strapping police confiscated during the arrests was for banners.

A last-minute change to the Coronation service was made, replacing an “oath of allegiance” with a “homage of the people,” amid fears it would spark anger and a rise in anti-monarchy sentiment.

Police had warned protesters in advance that they would take no chances when it came to the event. The Met Police said, “Our tolerance for any disruption, whether through protest or otherwise, will be low. We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration.” As many as 11,500 police officers are on duty to ensure events go smoothly and without disruption.

In recent weeks, various activist groups such as Just Stop Oil and animal-rights activists have caused widespread disruption in central London and at the Grand National. The Met Police, aware of these incidents, has taken extensive measures to ensure the King’s coronation remains free from interruptions.

Despite the arrests, the Republic group remains determined to make their voices heard during the coronation. As Trafalgar Square fills with demonstrators, many are expressing their dissatisfaction with the monarchy and the current socio-economic situation in the UK. Critics argue that the King’s coronation is a symbol of a system that perpetuates inequality and fails to address pressing issues such as poverty, food banks, and deteriorating schools.

Supporters of the monarchy, however, believe that the coronation represents tradition, stability, and national unity. They argue that the event is an opportunity to showcase British heritage and culture, as well as to attract tourism and international attention.

As the royal procession continues, the Met Police will maintain a strong presence throughout central London to minimize disruptions and respond to any potential security threats. While the tensions between anti-monarchists and monarchy supporters remain palpable, the authorities are committed to ensuring the King’s coronation proceeds as smoothly as possible.

In conclusion, the anti-monarchist protesters’ arrests in central London have highlighted the ongoing debate surrounding the monarchy’s role in modern Britain. The event has raised questions about the freedom of expression, the balance between security and individual rights, and the future of the British monarchy. As the nation watches the King’s coronation unfold, these conversations are likely to continue well beyond the day’s celebrations.

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