British police reminded their officers that the public has the right to protest against the monarchyafter a video that shows the forces of order taking away a protester and other similar episodes after the death of Elizabeth II.
“The public absolutely has the right to protestMetropolitan Police Deputy Commissioner Stuart Cundy said in a statement.
“We have made it clear to all agents that participate in the extraordinary police operation that is being carried out and we will continue to do so,” he added.
Cundy added that the “overwhelming majority of interactions” between officers and people had been “positive”, as crowds flock to central London and elsewhere to pay their respects following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The death of the very popular 96-year-old monarch gave rise to a wave of emotion of unusual unanimity, with tributes even from Northern Irish republicans or Scottish separatists, but also there were dissonant voices.
The clarification of the police command came after the images of a protester who held a protest banner with the slogan “not my king”, which was approached by at least four agents outside the British Parliament in London.
She was seen being escorted away from the scene, and was reportedly forced to another location away from the gates of Parliament. A witness told the British media that she was not arrested and that she was allowed to continue her protest.
Earlier, the anti-royal woman and a man were booed by the crowd outside Parliament as King Charles III made his first speech to lawmakers. The couple held signs reading “End feudalism,” “Abolition of monarchy” and “Not my king,” as the new monarch addressed lawmakers.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that another woman holding an “abolish the monarchy” sign at a King Charles III proclamation ceremony in Edinburgh on Sunday was charged with a criminal offense.
The civil rights group Big Brother Watch criticized the police handling of the protests. “If people are detained simply for carrying protest banners, it is an affront to democracy and most likely illegal“, said.
“Police officers have duty to protect the right of the people to protest as well as to facilitate the right of the people to express their support, their pain or to pay their respects”, the statement said.
(With information from AFP)
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