Wed. Dec 7th, 2022


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Protests are banned in this lockdown – despite being allowed in the last one

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England has been plunged back into a second national lockdown in a desperate bid to stop COVID-19 from spreading.

The country has been ordered to stay at home as the death count continued to spiral out of control.

For the second time in 2020, households have been banned from mixing and Brits can only leave their house for essential journeys.

But this lockdown is not exactly the same as the first – as the government has changed one key rule.

If you cast your mind back to the first shutdown, you may remember dramatic scenes on the news of protesters lining the streets.

Demonstrators marched in support of Black Lives Matter, having been appalled by the scenes in America and the killing of George Floyd.

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Opposition protesters also took to many cities, gathering in large numbers around historical monuments and sometimes clashing with police.

Under the first lockdown, demonstrations were exempt from the rules against public gatherings, meaning people were allowed to protest.

But during this Autumn lockdown, the government has taken steps to avoid similar scenes.

As reported in The Mirror, strict rules have been put in place to stop people meeting more than one other person until December 2.

This time, the restriction will apply to protests – with Boris Johnson’s spokesman confirming the draconian measures will stretch to demonstrations.

This means that until December 2, peaceful protests of more than 2 people will be illegal.

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The spokesman said: “Protests are not exempt from the rules.

"The right to peaceful protest is one of the cornerstones of our democracy but we are facing unprecedented circumstances and any gathering risks spreading the disease, potentially leading to more deaths, so it is vital we all play our part in controlling the virus."

Instead, it was said that police will engage and explain with people and encourage them to follow the rules.

Protests are not specifically called out in the latest round of restrictions, which was published on Tuesday and backed in the Commons on Wednesday.

But the exemption has been removed.

It follows arrests being made after anti-lockdown protesters gathered in central London on the first day of the shutdown.

Demonstrators, who were not wearing face coverings in any large numbers, flocked to Trafalgar Square to oppose being asked to stay at home during a pandemic.

The protesters were repeatedly told to go home, with one officer shouting at a group: "You are breaking the law,” Sky News reports.

Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, was among those at Trafalgar Square.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that arrests were made.

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