London, September 19: Thousands of demonstrators gathered at Trafalgar Square in the heart of London on Saturday, as part of the "Resist And Act For Freedom Rally". The anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine rally was called to protest against the curbs imposed by the UK government over the past seven months. COVID-19 Second Wave: UK 'Facing Perfect Storm' After Easing Curbs, Claims Top Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson.
The demonstrators, while blocking the traffic at Trafalgar Square, located in central London, raised slogans against the Boris Johnson government for imposing travel, work and social restrictions. The protesters called the curbs a "violation of fundamental rights".
Several anti-vaxxers raised placards showing a vaccine bottle and reading as follows: "resist the conspiracy". A number of protesters also wore T-shirts which read: "5G conspiracy". Most of the demonstrators expressed their angst over the loss of livelihoods due to the COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
Watch: Anti-Lockdown Protesters Confront Police
— ITV News (@itvnews) September 19, 2020
Video: Wave of Protesters
As we all begin again to lose relatives, friends, work colleagues and neighbours, please remember the faces of those gathered in Trafalgar Square today.
They are Covid-19 deniers. Along with our incompetent Tory government, they are the reason that many more of us will die. pic.twitter.com/bBtkJvQePI
— Marsh4LL (@Marsh4LL1) September 19, 2020
The enraged demonstrators also clashed with the Metropolis cops who confronted them. A statement issued by the police department claimed that their personnel had so far adopted a pacifist approach and urged the protesters to vacate and leave for their residences.
The police warned the protesters, who have blocked the arterial road, of being arrested if they do not vacate at the earliest.
"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," the police department said.
The rally comes a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that more restrictions could be imposed in the nation as the rate of COVID-19 transmission is rapidly increasing across the country. The PM contended that despite a concerted strategy to combat the pandemic, the UK has entered into a second wave of coronavirus.
(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 19, 2020 09:18 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).