Tennis balls thrown at Parliament during anti-containment protest in London
Anti-lockdown protesters threw tennis balls at Houses of Parliament and Downing Street as thousands joined a protest in central London.
Singing and whistling crowds carrying placards marched through the city center on Saturday towards Parliament Square.
Hundreds of tennis balls, some bearing protest messages, were thrown over the fences surrounding Parliament.
Protesters threw flares and also threw tennis balls outside Downing Street, with some shouting ‘shame on you’ and pointing at number 10, followed by boos.
When asked why the protesters were throwing tennis balls, one man, who declined to be named, said: “They have little messages on them. Most of them are not very nice.
Protesters, many of whom wore no masks, carried signs with anti-vaccine and anti-restriction messages, while others waved flags.
In Hyde Park, officers were pictured trying to remove adhesive stickers from the windows of police vans with anti-vaccine messages.
Iain McCausland, who traveled to London from Devon, said: “The main reason I’m here is because I think this lockdown has come at the expense of our freedom and our rights.
“Our freedom to meet, our freedom to travel and to work. I am very, very angry with the government, everyone here too. “
Kayleigh Brooke, 29, of Manchester, said she had been camping for four weeks at Clapham Common in south London protesting the vaccine rollout.
“We want the Coronavirus Act 2020 to go away, and we will continue to protest until that happens,” she said.
A man who only gave his name to Gareth, 29, of Walthamstow, north-east London, said: ‘I am on the march because I think the government is going too far and its response to a threat has gone beyond what is necessary. “
Other rallies and marches are also taking place in central London over the weekend.
The People’s Assembly had staged a nationwide protest against the government, which included criticism on a range of issues, including the controversial Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
Images and videos shared on social media by Extinction Rebellion showed people walking through London and speeches in Parliament Square, including former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The causes depicted in photos by other Twitter users on Saturday included support for Palestinians and the rights of trans people.
Three people were arrested during the demonstrations for violating public order, assaulting the police and an individual who was already wanted for a previous assault.
Operation Gold Commander, Chief Superintendent Karen Findlay, said, “The vast majority of protesters today have engaged positively with our officers.
“We experienced small pockets of anti-social behavior in Whitehall, involving missiles launched at officers, but these were dealt with quickly and effectively.”
Three officers were slightly injured during the day, Met police said.
Metropolitan Police said on Friday they arrested 12 people as part of a crackdown on protesters ahead of the weekend and warned they had “zero tolerance for disorder or crime.”
Raids at three locations in the capital saw the seizure of items, including bamboo structures, lockdown hardware and other items “that could be used to cause criminal damage and obstructions.”
Extinction Rebellion reported on its website that four members were arrested in one of its warehouses in east London.
It is claimed that the women had “created art” for the Free the Press Sunday march in Parliament Square.