Protesters have clashed with police in central London during demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in the United States last month.
The majority of protests in the UK on Saturday were peaceful, though some turned violent early on Saturday evening with bottles, flares and other items thrown on the streets of London towards police and Downing Street. One officer was knocked from his horse during the protests in London as police responded to a turn in the mood of some of the protesters.
Many of the protesters have taken to social media to make it clear that they disagree with the actions of other protesters who had been causing violence. During the protests on Saturday, a statue of Sir Winston Churchill was also defaced, on what is also the 76th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
Thousands of people gathered in Parliament Square and nearby locations in London for protests. Many of those in attendance were wearing face coverings, however, there were clear breaches of the social distancing regulations currently in effect due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Protests also took place in Manchester, Cardiff, Sheffield and other cities.
On Friday, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock had urged people not to break lockdown rules for protests. Mr Hancock said;
“Like so many, I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset, but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.
“The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.
“So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including demonstrations of more than six people.”
Under current Coronavirus regulations for England, public gatherings of more than six people are banned.
Some of the signs being used by protesters on Saturday said that racism was also a pandemic and a killer. Government ministers have warned against the protests, but the Conservative candidate for London Mayor said that protests should be allowed.