The death of the sovereign does not justify everything. London police reminded their officers that the public has the right to protest the monarchy after a video went viral showing police escorting a protester.
On Monday, as King Charles III was on his way to Parliament in London to receive condolences from both houses, two protesters displayed documents on the pavement reading “He is not my king”, “Abolition of the monarchy” and “End of feudalism”. in front of the Palace of Westminster. One of them then approached the gates of Parliament, then police officers calmly escorted her from a distance, according to images released on Twitter by the Evening Standard newspaper that have been re-shared thousands of times.
“The public has absolutely the right to demonstrate, we have made it clear to all the agents involved in the extraordinary police operation currently underway and we will continue to do so”, the Metropolitan Police reacted on Monday evening to this Tuesday.
Arrests in Scotland and Oxford
Outside London, before Elizabeth II’s coffin arrived in Edinburgh on Sunday, Scottish police arrested – amid applause – a woman holding an “Abolition of the Monarchy” sign for violating public order. She has been released but will have to be presented in court at a later date.
During the funeral procession that passed through the Scottish capital on Monday, a video circulated online showing a man shouting “sick old man! to Prince Andrew, who paid millions in the United States to avoid a sexual assault trial, before being violently turned away from the crowd by officers. In Oxford, central England, a 45-year-old peace activist was briefly arrested after shouting “Who elected him? during a public proclamation of the new king.
The civil liberties organization Big Brother Watch denounced the recent arrests as “an affront to democracy”, recalling that “freedom of expression is the foundation of British democracy”.
According to a survey published on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the reign in June by the YouGov institute, 62% of the British believe that the country should remain a monarchy, only 22% believe that there should be an elected head of state. The death of the immensely popular 96-year-old ruler also sparked a strong wave of emotion, with tributes of rare unanimity including Northern Irish Republicans or Scottish separatists.