Politics

London: 13 people arrested during anti-racism protests

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Thirteen people were arrested during a London Black Lives Matter protest sparked by the death of George Floyd, the Metropolitan Police has said.

Thousands of people descended upon central London on WednesdayHyde Park at lunchtime before later marching towards Parliament.

But after a peaceful start to the day, physical altercations broke out as tensions bubbled over outside Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s residence.

Anti-racism protesters hurled temporary barriers and glass bottles at the gates of Downing Street, and riot police were deployed as chaos broke out after dusk.

Footage from the scene showed objects, including signs and a traffic cone, being thrown at officers and at least one protester being wrestled to the ground and restrained by police.

Several police vans descended on the area, where protesters had earlier climbed onto window sills on the outside of the Treasury building and gathered outside the Cabinet Office, which had been daubed with “BLM” in black paint.

National Police Chiefs Council said: “We stand alongside all those across the globe who are appalled and horrified by how George Floyd lost his life. Justice and accountability should follow.”

They said officers in the UK were “trained to use force proportionately, lawfully and only when necessary”.

However, they added: “We strive to learn and improve continuously. We will tackle bias, racism, or discrimination wherever we find it.”

The Council said officers “uphold and facilitate” the right to lawful protest, adding that police “know people want to make their voices heard”.

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