Six anti-monarchy protestors were arrested at the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday morning.
The six were arrested as they were unloading placards and loudspeakers from their van close to route of the coronation procession where they had planned to stage their protest. They were detained for 16 hours under the very new Public Order Act 2023 which allows the police to arrest people if they have equipment that could be used to lock onto buildings or vehicles in order to cause disruption to the public.
However, there was no such lock-on or other significantly disruptive action planned by the six people arrested, and there was no lock-on equipment in the van.
One of those arrested was the CEO of anti-monarchy group Republic and he believes that the police had planned to arrest them in advance of the protest even though they knew they were planning a peaceful event. His suspicions come from the fact that they’d had 4 months of prior conversations with the police telling them what the protest would entail, and the police had said they’d been fine with it, right up until the stealth arrest on Saturday.
Of course some people made it to the protests and in reality, all the protestors did was gather in a relatively small group sporting anti-monarchy placards and T-shirts and shout ‘Not my King’ as Charles went past in his gilded coach.
There were more widespread arrests of protestors during the day, 52 in total, 60% of which were arrested under suspicion of causing a public nuisance.
Relevance to A-level sociology
This is a good example of a state crime: here the police are preventing people from exercising their right to protest and free speech which is against the UN convention on human rights.
So the Tory government no longer respects human rights and the MET police are prepared to abuse human rights to attempt to make the monarchy seem more loved than it is on the global stage.
It shows us the power of the media in relation to protest. In reality, had the police done nothing, the mainstream media probably wouldn’t have even shown the protestors. It was a relatively easy thing to cut-out of footage, given how small it was.
But now these arrests have been made and the state has shown itself to be against human rights, this is becoming big news, as is the anti-monarchy debate that’s being represented!
It’s kind of ironic.
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