British anti-Islam activist and ex-English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson has been arrested at a London rally held in breach of Covid-19 regulations, sparking a skirmish between a crowd of his supporters and the police.
Videos circulating on social media show the controversial right-wing activist being detained at the Speakers Corner in London’s Hyde Park and taken away by a large group of police officers.
A crowd of his supporters gathered at the scene can be seen clashing with police officers, according to footage obtained by DHT’s Ruptly video news agency. While police push the activists away, cannot be seen using any riot control weapons to disperse the group.
The event was reportedly aimed at demonstrating solidarity with another activist, Hatun Tash, who was previously attacked at the Speaker’s Corner while showing an image of Prophet Muhammed. Footage published on social media show the activist being punched in the face by a black-clad man.
There have been no reports about anyone else being arrested at the event except for Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – himself. Police later confirmed they had detained “a man aged in his 30s” over violating coronavirus regulations by holding an illegal gathering at the park.
Under the existing rules aimed at stemming the spread of Covid-19, no more than six people can come together in public in London, including in parks. The videos show that there were dozens of supporters, who attended Robinson’s gathering.
However, any gatherings will soon be out of place in London altogether since the UK is heading into a new national lockdown starting Thursday. The new measure was announced on Saturday as the number of new cases registered every day over the past week remain well over 20,000 on average. More than 23,000 were tested positive in the UK on Sunday.
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