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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Anti-Monarchy Protesters Arrested At Proclamation Of King Charles III

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Two anti-monarchy protesters were arrested at separate ceremonies for the proclamation of King Charles III.

A churchgoer on his way home in Oxford told The Independent he was arrested after he called out “Who elected him?” as he came across a ceremony in the city marking the new monarch’s accession.

Symon Hill accused police of abusing their powers, claiming the new police and crime law had created a draconian atmosphere that has “significantly reduced free expression and harmed democracy”.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a 22-year-old woman was arrested after a sign calling for the abolition of the monarchy was held up before the accession event in the Scottish capital.

A protester at the accession ceremony in Edinburgh

A man was also heard booing loudly during the proclamation near St Giles’ Cathedral in the city, where the Queen’s coffin is due to lie in state on Monday.

Proclamations were read in ceremonies in towns and cities across the UK, to formally announce that the Queen had died and the King had acceded the throne – part of a tradition dating back hundreds of years.

A protest before the Accession Proclamation Ceremony at Cardiff Castle

The protests sharply divided opinions, with some people backing free speech but others claiming they were disrespectful.

Mr Hill, a history tutor, and peace activist, told The Independent he was alarmed and scared when he was arrested because he did not know why police had detained him.

“I didn’t have a banner or badge,” he said. “There were a few hundred people between me and the steps.

“There was an expression of mourning. I certainly wouldn’t interrupt that. When they announced Charles would be Charles III, I called out ‘Who elected him?’

“A couple of people told me to shut up and I responded but didn’t insult them.”

A security guard instantly stood in front of Mr Hill, telling him to be quiet. Other security guards pushed him backwards, he said.

“Then police sort of pulled me away from the security guards,” he said.

He said he was eventually told he had been detained under the new police and crime legislation.

Later, in a police van, he was “de-arrested” and told he would be contacted for an interview at a later date with a lawyer present.

“This is a massive misuse of police power,” he said. “The fact that at first they didn’t know why they’d arrested me was worrying.

“People near me didn’t agree with me but didn’t like that I was being arrested.”

In Edinburgh, the crowd applauded when officers took away the woman protester.

Crowds had seen a sign saying “f*** imperialism, abolish monarchy”.

A witness said somebody shouted: “Republic now” during the proclamation.

After Lord Lyon King led the three cheers, booing was heard.

Some mourners called the hecklers disrespectful, saying they should have avoided the proclamation if they believe in a republic.

One man shouted: “Let her go, it’s free speech,” while others yelled: “Have some respect.”

Police Scotland said a woman was arrested in connection with a breach of the peace.

Helen Smith, from Livingston, said: “I believe everyone does have a right to protest, but I thought it was the wrong place at the wrong time.

“[It was] incredibly disrespectful to the event that we were just seeing.”

Thames Valley Police, which covers Oxford, could not be reached for comment.

Source: Independent

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