Protesters were heckled by members of the public (Picture: PA/REX)
Maskless demonstrators chanted ‘take your freedom back’ as they marched through the capital today in protest against the national lockdown.
But clearly not everyone was on board with their message, with one bystander branding them ‘idiots’ and a woman shouting from her car saying: ‘There’s a pandemic going on you twats.’
Asround 30 protesters marched across Clapham Common, south London, and then down the high street, where a heavy police presence awaited them.
Scuffles broke out with officers as the demonstrators reached Argos and one man appeared to be arrested during the fracas.
Further clashes broke out outside a nearby Sainsbury’s and another protester was detained.
The Metropolitan Police said five people had been arrested at the demonstration, organised by the StandupX group, which wound down by around 2pm.
A man detained on Clapham Common shouted ‘I stand under common law, not maritime law and this is assault’, as he was put into handcuffs by police officers.
Police detain a man wearing a ‘Make Britain Great Again’ cap (Picture: PA)
Masked officers walk down Clapham Common (Picture: PA)
The Metropolitan Police say five people were arrested over the demonstration (Picture: REX)
In a statement this afternoon the Met said: ‘Gathering for the purpose of a protest is not an exemption to the rules.
‘Those looking to gather today are urged to stay at home, or face enforcement action by officers.’
Yesterday Scotland Yard issued a warning in anticipation for today’s protest.
In an open letter, the force said it was ‘aware’ of plans to demonstrate and urged people not to attend any public meetings.
It said: ‘The MPS strongly advises people not to attend any gathering, for the protection of yourselves and others.
Demonstrators shouted ‘take your freedom back’ as they clashed with police (Picture: REX)
A protester is detained outside a Salisbury’s store (Picture: AFP/Getty Images)
Around 30 people took part in the event, organised by StandupX (Picture: PA)
A heavy police presence awaited protesters in Clapham (Picture: REX)
‘We are still in the middle of a global pandemic.””Police officers will take appropriate enforcement action where necessary.
‘It is your responsibility to check the current position and ensure you are not committing an offence by being involved in a gathering. We urge anyone arranging a gathering to inform your local police.’
Under current lockdown rules it is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of a household or bubble.
However people are allowed to exercise outside with one person from another household.
Earlier this week the Met warned that officers will be cracking down on rule-breakers and said people should expect a fine straight away instead of being ‘reasoned with’.
Elsewhere in the country, Derbyshire Police is to review every single fixed penalty notice issued during the current lockdown after fining two women who drove five miles in separate cars to go for a walk at a beauty spot.
Jessica Allen and Eliza Moore, both 27, were told their cups of peppermint tea were classed as ‘a picnic’ which is not allowed under lockdown rules and were each handed a £200 fine on Wednesday.
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.