London protests: Thousands gather despite police warnings
Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, has condemned the “unacceptable thuggery” of demonstrators who have clashed with police protecting London’s monuments today.
She shared a video of objects being thrown at police in Whitehall and tweeted: “(Thoroughly) unacceptable thuggery. “Any perpetrators of violence or vandalism should expect to face the full force of the law. Violence towards our police officers will not be tolerated. “Coronavirus remains a threat to us all. Go home to stop the spread of this virus & save lives.”The far-right group Britain First has massed at the statue of Winston Churchill and the Cenotaph in London with a pledge to “guard our monuments”.
Paul Golding, the leader of Britain First, said: “I am extremely fed up with the way that the authorities have allowed two consecutive weekends of vandalism against our national monuments.
“Anyone who comes along today to try and vandalise them will probably be dealt with by all of these Englishmen that turned up, and they’re fed up as well.”
The official Black Lives Matter protest planned for today was cancelled by the movement.
‘If you don’t love this country, leave’
A man gave a speech at Parliament Square, which was received by widespread applause.
“If you don’t love this country, leave” says this man, an immigrant himself, to widespread applause (and not very socially distant handshakes)#Parliamentsquare @LBCNews @LBC pic.twitter.com/iZ9dgbUlgY
— Matthew Thompson (@mattuthompson) June 13, 2020
Similar expressions of solidarity took place in cities across Britain to voice anger at the death of Mr Floyd, as well as wider racist violence and discrimination.