Black Lives Matter protests: New rules imposed as police in London try to avoid violence

Protesters in London have been told by police they must be off the streets by 5pm today.

The restriction is an attempt to avoid a repeat of last week’s violent clashes with police during Black Lives Matter protests.

Statues in Parliament Square have been boarded up to prevent them being targeted, as some were in recent days.

And protesters will have to keep to the planned march route, which runs from Hyde Park to Whitehall.









PM slams boarding up of Churchill statue

At Whitehall there will be a police barrier, with protesters asked to stay on one side and counter-protesters on the other.

The conditions have been set under section 12 of the Public Order Act.

Metropolitan Police Commander Bas Javid said he understood the depth of feeling of protesters but asked people not to come to London while lockdown rules are still in force.

More from Black Lives Matter

“If you were planning to come to London, I again would urge you to reconsider, but if you are still intent, please familiarise yourself with what the conditions are,” he said.

“Please keep yourself safe by complying with government guidance on social distancing.”

Police clash with protesters during a Black Lives Matter protest rally in Westminster, London, in memory of George Floyd who was killed on May 25 while in police custody in the US city of Minneapolis.
Image:
The protests have been inspired by those in the US following the death of George Floyd

He also promised a “robust” response to any disorder at protests this weekend.

“Protecting property, protecting people, particularly police officers, is really important and criminality will not be tolerated,” Mr Javid said.

“The reality is it was a very, very small number of people last weekend that resorted to violence.

“But quite naturally that’s what seems to get the traction on social media and in the media.

“A large, large number of people who came to London were peaceful. They demonstrated in a very peaceful and sensible way, under the current circumstances.

“But those who come along with the intention of, or they are able to be drawn into, violence when they come to London, that just won’t be accepted and it won’t be tolerated.”

The protests were sparked by the killing of American George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis last month after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council said on Friday that more than 130 people have been arrested during almost 200 demonstrations across Britain since the death of Mr Floyd.

More than 60 police officers have also been injured.



Has America reached a turning point over race?







George Floyd: America’s tipping point?

Race and Revolution: Is Change Going to Come?

Sky News will broadcast a global debate show on Tuesday night at 8pm – looking at the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter protests, and examining institutional racism and how we fix it.

If you would like to be part of our virtual audience, and have a chance of putting a question to our panel, please send your name, location and question to newsdebates@sky.uk

Source link