London, June 8 : Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London on Sunday, rallying for a second day running to condemn police brutality after the killing of the unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, the US, on May 25. An estimated 10,000 people gathered in the city to demonstrate against the killing.
In an incident at Parliament Square, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi was desecrated by the protesters. A similar incident happened in the city of Bristol. A mob toppled a 125-year-old statue of the slave trader, Edward Colston, and dumping it in the harbour during a ”Black Lives Matter” march.
Protests also saw Winston Churchill”s statue being defaced with the word ”racist” painted across the plinth. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, condemned the actions of the group and said that such acts of vandalism were a “distraction from the cause in which people are actually protesting about”.
On Sunday evening, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police.”
These demonstrations have been subverted by thuggery – and they are a betrayal of the cause they purport to serve. Those responsible will be held to account.
Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, said: “The vast majority of protestors in London were peaceful. But this vital cause was badly let down by a tiny minority who turned violent and threw glass bottles and lit flares, endangering other protestors and injuring police officers. This is simply not acceptable, will not be tolerated and will not win the lasting and necessary change we desperately need to see.”
Scotland Yard said that 29 people were arrested and 14 officers were injured during clashes between police and protesters the day before.