At least six police officers have been injured, and more than 100 people have been arrested after violence erupted on the streets of the capital for the second weekend in a row.
Thousands of people ignored the government’s life-saving rules on social distancing, in order to take parts in the protests.
Following last weekends disorder, a contingent of peaceful veterans made their way to the capital to protect war memorials from being desecrated after pictures and images of various war memorials covered in graffiti were shared on social media.
One video from last weekends protests also showed a male trying to set fire to a Union Jack on the cenotaph, which caused outrage amongst the UK’s military and veteran community.
However, various groups, not affiliated with the veteran community, who were intent on violence also made their way to London in order to start trouble and to attack police officers.
Emergency Services News understands that thousands of people have complained to the BBC about their reporting of the events, concerning the veterans who were looking after war memorials.
Veterans – who were in military attire – and who looked after the various war memorials have been incorrectly associated by some sections of the mainstream media with extreme elements of the protesters who did not represent the veterans or their values.
A veteran (Parachute Regiment), believed to be an amputee, puts himself between the police and some violent protesters in order to help protect public order officers
As violence exploded, police horses were pelted with various missiles as officers attempted to disperse violent protesters.
As of 21:00hrs (13th June) more than 100 people had been arrested for offences including breach of the peace, violent disorder, assault on emergency workers, possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class A drugs, and drunk and disorderly.
There have been reports widely shared on social media that one veteran was stabbed in the neck, but this has not yet been confirmed by the police or the London Ambulance Service.
Protesters carry an injured male to a police line so that the male can be treated for his injuries
A spokesperson for the London Ambulance Service (LAS) confirmed that, as of 17:00 hours on 13th June, 15 patients had been treated, including two police officers.
Six of those treated – all members of the public – had been taken to hospital. The seriousness of their injuries is not known.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said:
“A major police operation took place in central London today (Saturday, 13th June) after thousands of people travelled into the capital to protest.
“In advance of these demonstrations, the Metropolitan Police imposed a series of conditions designed to keep people safe.
“We also used a tactic known as a section 60 authority following information that several people were carrying weapons.
Peaceful protesters and peaceful veterans unite next to a war memorial
“Many people have complied with the conditions and have listened to the requests of officers during the day.
“However, there have been pockets of violence directed towards our officers”.
Many people were left wondering why the protests were ever allowed to go ahead in the first place when intelligence had suggested from the outset that violence would erupt.
Peaceful veterans engaged with protesters about why they had made the journey to central London to protect the capitals war memorials
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Federation said:
“Once again our members were assaulted and injured whilst policing protests, demonstrations and frankly mindless thuggery in the centre of London.
“They were – as always – impeccable in the face of such violence. We are proud of how our colleagues performed in the face of such anger and inexplicable hatred.
“We understand six colleagues suffered injuries, including facial injuries and bruising. That’s six too many. And we all wish them well.
“Our colleagues do not come to work to face this level of violence and abuse. These officers are human beings doing their job to keep the public safe. They want to go home without injury at the end of their shifts.
Peaceful Veterans, from around the country, stand guard over the nation’s war memorials
“But we also have a few words to say tonight to the disgusting, contemptible scumbag who during today’s disorder urinated on the Memorial at Parliament to our murdered colleague PC Keith Palmer.
“We decline to share the image of this sickening act this evening.
“You will be caught.
“And you will face justice for your despicable, shocking and horrific act.
“How very sad that a human being has chosen to do that. It’s just disgusting.
“We echo the words of Police Memorial Trust Chair Geraldine Winner: How dare this man think he can defile the nation’s memorial to such a brave and heroic police officer.
“We also tonight thank the vast, vast majority of the public for their continuing support to our brave colleagues in the face of this violence.
“It is appreciated”.
A police officer (Met) stands guard over a male who had been set upon by a group of between 8-14 thugs
Metropolitan Police Commander, Bas Javid, said:
“Thousands have travelled to London despite being asked not to and some of those have been intent on causing harm.
“We understand why people want to express their concerns and have worked hard to keep people safe.
“Many people have complied with these conditions, and have listened to officers during the day, and have behaved as we have requested in order to keep them safe.
“A number of people have not followed these conditions, putting officers, and other’s safety at risk.
“There have been pockets of violence directed towards our officers. This is completely unacceptable, and I condemn those involved.
“We will not tolerate the violence previously exhibited by some protestors.”
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