Thousands gathered outside the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the country’s parliament, carrying signs reading “Unity Is Freedom” and “It’s Not a Pandemic, It’s an IQ Test.”
Protesters chanted, “Shame on Police” and demanded that Prime Minister Boris Johnson be arrested.
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Though the rally was largely peaceful, there were tense moments when groups of demonstrators argued with police and some bottles were thrown at the officers.
The Metropolitan Police said they were working to defuse tensions when the crowd blocked traffic.
Monday was dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ online as restrictions on social gatherings and the mask mandate ended in England.
In a Twitter video, Johnson said the vaccination programme has “very severely weakened the link between infection and hospitalization, and between infection and serious illness.” He urged everyone to stay cautious during England’s reopening.
Labour Party leader Keir Starmer, meanwhile, argued that it was reckless to lift many restrictions at once, and by doing so the UK risks “a summer of chaos.”
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