March 21, 2023



Anti-royal protesters are being arrested within the U.Okay. : NPR

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An anti-monarchy demonstrator protests exterior Palace of Westminster in central London on Monday. Plenty of arrests within the U.Okay. are sparking questions on freedom of speech.

Marco Bertorello/AFP through Getty Pictures

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Marco Bertorello/AFP through Getty Pictures

An anti-monarchy demonstrator protests exterior Palace of Westminster in central London on Monday. Plenty of arrests within the U.Okay. are sparking questions on freedom of speech.

Marco Bertorello/AFP through Getty Pictures

“Not my king.”

“He’s and there’s nothing you are able to do about it.”

That exchange between two commenters on Twitter encapsulates the present friction within the U.Okay., the place King Charles III’s ascension to the throne has sparked anti-royalist protests.

In dramatic methods, the dynamic is enjoying out in actual life: police have made a collection of arrests towards individuals protesting the monarchy in current days, elevating questions on the appropriate to freedom of speech because the U.Okay. proclaims a brand new head of state to exchange the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Police in Scotland allege breaches of peace

In broadly seen pictures, a lady holding an indication studying “Abolish monarchy” and “F*** imperialism” was arrested on Sunday at St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, the place the queen’s physique is to lie at relaxation till Tuesday.

“Let her go! It’s free speech!” one man shouted, in response to The Scotsman newspaper. Others yelled again, “Have some respect.”

The girl, 22, was arrested “in reference to a breach of the peace,” a Police Scotland spokesperson advised NPR, including that she was formally charged and launched, and her case is now pending at Edinburgh Sheriff Court docket.

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Comparable stories emerged Monday, together with one case involving a person who was seen being forcibly faraway from a parade barrier after shouting on the royal procession resulting in the cathedral. He was reportedly heckling Prince Andrew.

And in London, a lady was led away by 4 uniformed officers on Monday after holding up an indication studying “Not my king” — which has change into a trending hashtag — close to Westminster Corridor.

Protester says he didn’t disrespect the late queen

Essentially the most high-profile case comes from Oxford, the place writer and activist Symon Hill says he was arrested for protesting Charles’ ascension, in what he referred to as “an outrageous assault on democracy.”

Hill mentioned he objected solely to Charles being proclaimed king, and that he didn’t do something to disrespect Elizabeth or disrupt these mourning her.

“It was solely once they declared Charles to be ‘King Charles III’ that I referred to as out ‘Who elected him?’” Hill mentioned as he associated his expertise. “I doubt the general public within the crowd even heard me. Two or three individuals close to me advised me to close up.”

The U.Okay. adopted new legal guidelines on protests this 12 months

Hill mentioned police initially advised him he was arrested below the U.Okay.’s just lately toughened legal guidelines on protests, a change that got here after advocacy teams reminiscent of Extinction Riot and Black Lives Matter mounted giant and/or disruptive protests lately.

The brand new legislation permits police to behave in instances which they deem to be “unjustifiably noisy protests that will have a big affect on others” or severely disrupt a company’s actions.

A demonstrator towards the U.Okay.’s royal head of state holds an indication studying “Republic Now” at an accession proclamation ceremony for King Charles III in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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The arrests spotlight people’ troubles with the authorities — however giant teams have additionally chosen or been pressured to vary their plans attributable to Elizabeth’s loss of life.

Extinction Riot had for months deliberate to carry a big protest in London this previous weekend, dubbed the Competition of Resistance. However after the queen died, the group postponed its plan, saying that “occupying a Royal Park right now wouldn’t be sensible.”

Teams reminiscent of Republic — within the U.Okay., to be a Republican means to help the top of monarchy — are amplifying requires change, sharing feedback from people who find themselves evaluating the crackdown on protests within the U.Okay. to the actions of authoritarian regimes.

Republic mentioned on Monday that it’s contacting police companies to ask concerning the guidelines for demonstrators, including that it intends to arrange protests round Charles’ coronation “and can count on these protests to be allowed to go forward peacefully.”

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