The Metropolitan Police is facing criticism after it arrested several members of an anti-monarchy group during the recent coronation celebrations in London. The group had planned a peaceful protest to coincide with the event, but were met with heavy police presence and arrests.
The group, known as “Republic”, campaigns for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a democratic republic in the UK. According to their statement, the protest was intended to raise awareness about the cost of the monarchy to taxpayers and to advocate for a more democratic system of government.
However, the Metropolitan Police deemed the protest a breach of the Public Order Act and arrested several members of the group, including its leader Graham Smith. The police argued that the protest could have caused disruption and potentially endangered public safety.
The arrests have sparked controversy and criticism from civil liberties campaigners and opposition politicians. The leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer, tweeted that “peaceful protest is a fundamental right in our democracy”, while the human rights organisation Liberty called the arrests a “disproportionate and heavy-handed response”.
The Metropolitan Police has defended its actions, stating that it was necessary to prevent any potential harm or disruption to the coronation celebrations. However, the controversy has raised questions about the balance between public safety and the right to peaceful protest.
The anti-monarchy Group, Republic, has vowed to continue its campaign for a republic and has called for greater protection of the right to peaceful protest.