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Twelve arrested at anti-lockdown protest in London

The protest took place after London mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” as the spread of coronavirus threatens to “overwhelm” hospitals.

Image: PA

TWELVE PEOPLE HAVE been arrested for breaching Covid-19 restrictions during an anti-lockdown protest in south-west London, the Metropolitan Police have said.

A crowd of about 30 people marched down Clapham High Street this afternoon chanting “take your freedom back” while being heckled by members of the public.

The protest took place after London mayor Sadiq Khan declared a “major incident” as the spread of coronavirus threatens to “overwhelm” the capital’s hospitals.

The police said 12 people were arrested and taken into custody.

Dozens of officers were deployed to Clapham Common to try and contain the protest, which was organised by the group StandupX and began shortly after midday.

One woman shouted from her car, “there’s a pandemic going on, you twats” as the maskless protesters headed east towards Stockwell, while another bystander called them idiots.

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The small group of demonstrators eventually returned to Clapham Common park before being dispersed by police. 

NHS England figures showed the number of Covid patients in London hospitals stands at 7,277, up 32% on the previous week.

Around eight in 10 recent positive cases of Covid-19 in London and eastern England could be the new variant discovered in the UK, according to the ONS.

The Met tweeted: “12 people have been arrested for breaching Covid regs at a protest in #ClaphamCommon for today. All have been taken into custody.

“Others in attendance were dispersed. The policing operation continues. Gathering for the purpose of a protest is not an exemption to the rules & and people looking to attend may face enforcement action.”

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