King Charles III’s Coronation: Peaceful Republican Protesters Arrested for ‘Breaching the Peace’

As the pomp and pageantry are underway in London, some are raining on King Charles III’s coronation parade.

London’s Metropolitan Police have arrested republican protesters at Trafalgar Square. The protests appeared to be peaceful, according to reports, and the protesters were arrested while unloading placards.

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Shelly Asquith, health, safety and wellbeing officer at the Trade Union Congress, posted on Twitter:

“Outrageous scenes of cops arresting anti-monarchy protestors and stealing their placards. So we are not allowed to show public opposition to a bloke being crowned head of state for having been born into unimaginable wealth while ppl line up at food banks and schools fall apart.”

The Metropolitan Police tweeted a statement: “A significant police operation is under way in central London. We have made a number of arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace. The individuals have been held on suspicion of breaching the peace.”

The police had earlier tweeted: “We will deal robustly with anyone intent on undermining this celebration.” Also among those arrested are four people in the area of St Martin’s Lane who were held on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and lock-on devices were seized from them; and a further three people were arrested in the area of Wellington Arch who were held on suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage.

Among those arrested have been members of the Alliance of European Republican Movements and Graham Smith, the chief executive of republican group Republic, who was arrested along with five members of his team during an anti-monarchy protest.

The movement has condemned the arrests, saying: “In a democracy, there should be a right to protest.”

In a significant change to traditional procedure, instead of hereditary peers swearing allegiance to the King, members of the public – including those present at Westminster Abbey and those watching from home – will be invited, rather than asked, to recite: “I swear that I will pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”

The wording was initially asking the public, but when that was objected to by members of the public, it was changed to a milder invitation.

The coronation ceremony will be presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose London residence is Lambeth Palace. A “chorus of millions” is how a Lambeth Palace statement described the collective swearing of allegiance.

A spokesperson for the Archbishop said: “Our hope is at that point, when the Archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they’re watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud – this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the King.”

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