Police Clash with Protesters at St George's Day March in London

Police clashed with far-right groups at a St George's Day march in London, leading to arrests and disruption. The incident highlights ongoing tensions between protesters and law enforcement, raising concerns about public safety at such events.

Trim Correspondents
Updated On
New Update
Police Clash with Protesters at St George's Day March in London

Police Clash with Protesters at St George's Day March in London

The Metropolitan Police intervened in a disorder at Richmond Terrace, London, before the start of a planned St George's Day march on Sunday. Police said they were dealing with disturbances involving a crowd that included "far-right groups and groups linked to football clubs" who had gathered near Whitehall.

Video footage posted by the Metropolitan Police on X (formerly Twitter) showed a group of people, some draped in St George's flags, pushing past a police cordon. "The event was not due to start for an hour, but officers were already dealing with disorder as the group went past the allocated area in Richmond Terrace and continued up Whitehall," the police stated. "When officers formed a cordon and asked the group to turn around, they reacted by violently forcing their way through."

Mounted officers had to intervene with horses to restore the police cordon that was formed to stop people from moving past the allocated event area. Whitehall was briefly closed to traffic while police dealt with the incident, but it was later reopened with no further incidents reported.

At least six people were arrested during the clashes, including one on suspicion of assault, three on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker, one on suspicion of animal cruelty after allegedly targeting a police horse, and one on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly.

The Metropolitan Police had imposed conditions on the event under the Public Order Act to prevent disorder and minimize disruption. Participants were required to remain on Richmond Terrace within a designated area between 3pm and 5pm. A Section 60 order was also in place to allow officers to conduct additional searches.

Why this matters: The violent clashes at the St George's Day march highlight ongoing tensions between far-right groups and law enforcement in the UK. The incident raises concerns about the potential for such events to descend into disorder and the challenges police face in maintaining public safety while respecting the right to protest.

After the initial altercations, the event proceeded with a significant police presence remaining in the area. Former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson, who had been cleared of breaching a dispersal order earlier that day, was among the speakers at the rally. The Metropolitan Police said their priority was to ensure the safety of participants and the public, and they were prepared to respond to any further disorderly behavior or offenses.

Key Takeaways

  • Police intervened in disorder at St George's Day march in London, clashing with far-right groups.
  • Protesters forced their way through police cordon, leading to arrests for assault and other offenses.
  • Police imposed conditions to prevent disorder, including a designated protest area and search powers.
  • Ongoing tensions between far-right groups and law enforcement highlighted by the violent clashes.
  • Former EDL leader Tommy Robinson was among the speakers at the rally after the initial altercations.