Several thousand demonstrators gathered in central London on Saturday to protest the Black Lives Matter movement and clashed with security forces at different times, throwing bottles and other blunt objects at them. The police reacted with tear gas and loads with batons and on horseback.
The counter-demonstration aims to “protect” the statues in the British Parliament, such as those of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, which are protected by panels to prevent attacks of the kind that other monuments suffer from anti-racist protests.
After the incident, British Home Secretary Priti Patel condemned the violence as “highly unacceptable”. “Anyone who has committed violence or vandalism must face the full force of the law. Violence against our police officers will not be tolerated,” he said.
The authorities had asked the population not to take part in the protests demanded this Saturday because of the risk of violence. “Don’t take to the streets to protest in the coming days,” said Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has reaffirmed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Videos broadcast on social media show football fans drinking, singing the name of England and the British anthem and greeting the Nazis. The demonstrators were open to the press.