British police struck after arresting anti-monarchy protesters

(London) Amid national mourning following the death of Elizabeth II in the UK, the turning off of anti-monarchy protesters, who are courteously escorted or driven away, provokes criticism of respect for freedom of expression and urges London police to call their officers to order.

Posted at 2:48pm

Germain MOYON
Media Agency France

The death of the 96-year-old sovereign, which was immensely popular, sparked a strong outpouring of emotion that drew a rare unanimity among Northern Ireland republicans and Scottish separatists.

It also drew some conflicting voices from within the republican movement, which has had very little activity in the country where monarchy was little discussed under Queen Elizabeth’s rule, a figure of unity over the decades that had managed to create a to maintain impeccable neutrality. .

Ahead of the arrival of Elizabeth II’s coffin in Edinburgh on Sunday, police in Scotland arrested a woman holding a sign that read ‘Abolition of the Monarchy’ on charges of disturbing public order to applaud.

During the funeral procession that passed through the Scottish capital on Monday, video circulated showing a man shouting “old sick man! to Prince Andrew, who paid millions in the United States to avoid a sexual assault trial before being forcibly pulled from the crowd by officers.

In Oxford, central England, a 45-year-old peace activist was briefly arrested after shouting, “Who voted for him? during a public proclamation of the new king.

The organization that defends individual liberties, Big Brother Watch, denounced “an affront to democracy” and argued that “freedom of expression is the bedrock of British democracy”.

Labor opposition figures echoed the criticism and even Downing Street recalled that “the fundamental right to demonstrate remains a cornerstone of democracy”.

Paid “to do what?” »

As King Charles III. Traveling to Parliament in London on Monday to receive condolences from both houses, two protesters, a man and a woman, held up papers reading ‘Not my King’, ‘Abolish the monarchy’ and ‘End feudalism’. on the pavement in front of the Palace of Westminster.

The woman then approached the gates of Parliament, then police officers escorted her from a distance in a quiet setting, images posted on Twitter by the newspaper show. evening standard which have been shared thousands of times.

“The public has every right to demonstrate, we have made this clear to all officers involved in the extraordinary police operation that is taking place and we will continue to do so,” responded the Metropolitan Police, who are planning Elizabeth’s funeral should II represents an unprecedented law enforcement operation.

According to a YouGov poll released in June to mark Britain’s 70th anniversary, 62 percent of Britons believe the country should remain a monarchy, with just 22 percent believing there should be an elected head of state.

However, support for the monarchy is weaker among young people and Charles is far less popular than his mother.

“Parliament welcomes Charles Windsor as the new head of state to this country without the people having a say,” the police-framed protester told AFP in the viral video.

She denounces her multi-million pound income: ‘For what? Say hello and shake hands? »

The cost of the British monarchy is one of the main themes of criticism in the British press, albeit not very virulent. And that some note that the ‘Windsor brand’ brings much to the country, particularly through tourism.

During the proclamation ceremony, Charles III confirmed that he wished to continue to transfer the revenues from the crown’s inheritance (lands, investments, etc.) to the public treasury in exchange for an annual grant (“sovereign grant”) equal to 15% of these revenues.

This total equated to £86.3 million (C$130 million) for 2021-2022.

In a nervous UK – according to YouGov 44% of Brits shed a tear – reactions are sometimes extreme. A Scottish Fish & Chips owner had been popping the champagne as the sovereign died and posted the video online. His shop window was smashed.

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