Riot police cracked down hard today on people demonstrating to protect statues in London – a response not seen to the BLM rioters last week.
A coalition of veterans, “football lads,” and others gathered in Parliament Square to protest the defacing of statues, such as Winston Churchill, by Black Lives Matter rioters that had occurred over the last week, with police just letting the vandalism happen.
The largely peaceful protests were interspersed with some random violent scuffles between police and protestors. However, this was completely opposed to the BLM riots this week, in which violence and property damage was endemic, rather than being condemned by the majority.
Despite this, riot police with shields soon turned up to London’s Parliament Square to tackle those defending the statues. This incensed the crowd, with them chanting “where the f*ck were you last week,” noting their absence at the original riots.
— Politicalite #AllLivesMatter (@politicalite) June 13, 2020
Shortly afterwards, some of the protestors and police began engaging with each other near the Cenotaph. This reporter witnessed multiple men moving back away from the police with bleeding heads and faces, with injuries likely inflicted upon them by the riot police themselves.
Riot police and protestors clashing at barrier – K9 units deployed pic.twitter.com/Sq1VKQb9PH
— Jack Hadfield 👍🇬🇧 (@JackHadders) June 13, 2020
One veteran spoke to National File. “This sh*t’s getting out of hand, it’s all gone crazy,” he said. He argued that there is absolutely no way police would get away with cracking the face of protestors if they were on the left. “All lives should matter, it’s not about black or white,” he continued.
William Clouston, the leader of the SDP, wondered on Twitter whether the counter-protests would even have happened in the first place if the policing today was enforced last week. “If the authorities had shown less indifference to the blatant vandalism at the Cenotaph and of Churchill’s statue… an escalation would surely have been less likely,” he argued.
To witness continued street violence this weekend is so dispiriting. If the authorities had shown less indifference to the blatant vandalism at the Cenotaph and of Churchill's statue last week an escalation would surely have been less likely.
Today's policing last week? pic.twitter.com/tf0AC7QkmX
— William Clouston SDP (@WilliamClouston) June 13, 2020
A group of veterans who stood surrounding the Cenotaph also claimed they were threatened with arrest if they didn’t vacate the area.
Veteran reports they were threatened with arrest if they didn’t move away from Cenotaph. pic.twitter.com/aGEHYVkdRd
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) June 13, 2020