Thursday, Oct 01, 2020 | Last Update : 05:55 PM IST

189th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra1351153104994735751 Andhra Pradesh6811616123005745 Tamil Nadu5863975307089383 Karnataka5824584697508641 Uttar Pradesh3908753312705652 Delhi2730982407035272 West Bengal2505802198444837 Odisha212609177585866 Telangana1872111564311107 Kerala179923121264698 Bihar178882164537888 Assam169985139977655 Gujarat1332191132403417 Rajasthan1288591077181441 Haryana1237821059901307 Madhya Pradesh117588932382207 Punjab107096840253134 Chhatisgarh9856566860777 Jharkhand7770964515661 Jammu and Kashmir69832495571105 Uttarakhand4533233642555 Goa3107125071386 Puducherry2548919781494 Tripura2412717464262 Himachal Pradesh136799526152 Chandigarh112128677145 Manipur9791760263 Arunachal Pradesh8649623014 Nagaland5768469311 Meghalaya5158334343 Sikkim2707199431 Mizoram178612880
  World   Europe  14 Jun 2020  Far-right protesters cause mayhem in London, Johnson condemns ‘racist thuggery’

Far-right protesters cause mayhem in London, Johnson condemns ‘racist thuggery’

REUTERS
Published : Jun 14, 2020, 9:58 am IST
Updated : Jun 14, 2020, 9:58 am IST

The far-right groups, describing themselves as patriots and chanting ‘England, England’, said they wanted to defend British culture

An injured man is taken away by police after fights take place in Trafalgar Square. (AFP)
 An injured man is taken away by police after fights take place in Trafalgar Square. (AFP)

London: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned “racist thuggery” after far-right protesters clashed in London on Saturday with anti-racist demonstrators and police trying to keep the two sides apart.

Fights broke out between groups outside Waterloo station, with fireworks thrown before police cordoned off areas. On a nearby bridge, stones were lobbed at police. Sporadic skirmishes continued in parts of the city centre.

 

“Racist thuggery has no place on our streets,” Johnson said on Twitter. “Anyone attacking our police will be met with the full force of the law.”

Earlier in the day, small bands of protesters jostled and tossed bottles and cans in Trafalgar Square. Far-right groups shouted racial slurs at the anti-racism protesters, and some tried to use metal crash barriers to break through police lines.

The Metropolitan Police said they arrested more than 100 people for offences including violent disorder and assault on police, and that six officers had suffered minor injuries. The ambulance service said it had treated 15 people.

“It is clear that far-right groups are causing violence and disorder in central London, I urge people to stay away,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter.

 

In a brief respite to the animosity after the clashes near Waterloo, pictures showed a man identified by the crowd as a far-right protester being carried to safety by a Black Lives Matter protester.

The police, who had already imposed a restriction calling for all demonstrations to end by 5 p.m., urged people to disperse.

Police also said they would investigate after images on social media appeared to show a man urinating on PC Keith Palmer’s memorial. Palmer, a police officer, was stabbed to death in an attack outside Parliament in 2017.

There have been demonstrations around the world against racism and police abuses since the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. In British cities tens of thousands of people have marched peacefully during previous days of protest.

 

In London the demonstrators numbered fewer on Saturday than in recent days, after announcements by far-right groups that they would converge on the city centre prompted anti-racism activists to cancel a planned march and instead call for scattered protests.

Statues of historical figures including Winston Churchill were boarded up to prevent them from becoming flashpoints or being defaced by protesters who say such monuments celebrate racists.

‘MY CULTURE UNDER ATTACK’

In and around Parliament Square, hundreds of people wearing football shirts, describing themselves as patriots and chanting “England, England” gathered alongside military veterans to guard the Cenotaph war memorial.

 

The far-right groups said they wanted to defend British culture, in particular historical monuments, after the toppling of the statue of a 17th century slave trader in the port city of Bristol during an anti-racism protest last weekend sparked calls for others to come down.

“Winston Churchill, he’s one of our own,” they also chanted, near the statue of the World War Two leader, which last weekend was sprayed with graffiti reading: “Churchill was a racist”.

“My culture is under attack. This is my culture and my English history: why should Churchill be boarded up? Why is the Cenotaph attacked? It is not right,” said David Allen, one of the protesters.

 

While Churchill is admired by many for his role in defeating Nazi Germany, some in the anti-racism movement have called for more scrutiny of his overall legacy, noting he expressed racist and anti-Semitic views.

On Friday Johnson called it “absurd and shameful” that the Churchill statue was at risk of attack. “Yes, he sometimes expressed opinions that were and are unacceptable to us today, but he was a hero,” he said.

Protests took place in other countries on Saturday, including in several Australian cities, Taipei, Zurich and Paris.

Tags: far-right protesters, anti-racism protests, george floyd, british culture, thugs, boris johnson, statues