Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned the British tonight not to attend large-scale protests against racism this weekend due to the risk of coronavirus.
He urged people to think about “the safety of their loved ones” and said that Covid-19 remains a “real threat”.
Speaking today at a coronavirus briefing in Downing Street, he urged people not to attend the protests of more than six people.
The warning came as the Met’s deputy chief of police called the protests illegal because of social distancing rules, while London mayor Sadiq Khan said he would not attend. a demonstration this weekend.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham also begged people not to demonstrate tomorrow, while Home Secretary Priti Patel tweeted tonight: ‘Please keep all of us safe, do not attend large gatherings – including protests – of more than six people this weekend. ‘
Tens of thousands of people, including Star Wars actor John Boyega and One Direction singer Liam Payne, took to the streets of central London on Wednesday to protest racism after the death of George Floyd in the United States. United.
Protesters today turned to Parliament Square in London, waving signs with the black life of slogans, have always counted “and” white silence is violence. “
More protests are scheduled this weekend, including two days of protests in London and Manchester, as well as a protest outside the US Embassy in Dublin tomorrow and in Belfast and Londonderry this weekend.
Hancock said, “I understand why people are so upset, but we are still facing a health crisis and the coronavirus remains a real threat.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned Britons tonight not to attend large-scale protests against racism this weekend due to the risk of coronavirus
A demonstration of the life of blacks took place today on Parliament Square in London (left photo). In the photo on the right: protesters maintain social distance while kneeling at a demonstration in Trafalgar Square today
Matt Hancock urged people to think about “the safety of their loved ones” and said that Covid-19 remains a “real threat”. Pictured: People participated in a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Parliament Square today
Speaking today at a coronavirus briefing in Downing Street, Hancock urged people not to attend the protests of more than six people. Pictured: two protesters kiss at a Black Lives Matter demonstration on Parliament Square today
Protesters in Parliament Square London wore masks and held up placards, including one urging people to be “anti-racist” (left photo) and another saying “white silence is violence” (right photo)
Today, other demonstrators in Parliament Square held up signs, including one that said “It is a privilege to learn racism rather than experience it for life”
Protesters attend a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Parliament Square and hold up signs stating that “black lives have always been important”
Protesters on Parliament Square today wore masks with Britain still facing a coronavirus pandemic
A protester on Parliament Square in London today wore a chain around his wrist that appeared to be connected to another man
“So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings, including protests of more than six people.”
It comes as today Sadiq Khan has declared that he will not attend the Black Lives Matter protests in London due to the coronavirus pandemic – as a senior Met police officer warns that future mass rallies would be ” illegal ”.
Assistant Assistant Commissioner Laurence Taylor said gathering in the crowd meant that those protesting the death of George Floyd were risking their own health and well-being in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
He told BBC Radio 4 Today that the current restrictions are “really clear” that large rallies are illegal, and the government has insisted that people not meet in groups of more than six people.
“We strongly encourage people not to congregate in large numbers as they put themselves and others at risk,” said Mr. Taylor.
“And if they go out, then we would ask them to observe this social distancing, think of those around them. “
In other developments of the coronavirus crisis in Britain today:
- Questions were asked about whether locking was ever necessary, as another study suggested the epidemic was under control before draconian measures were imposed on March 23;
- Tony Blair urged number 10 to set up a mass testing program that would see most of the UK population tested for coronavirus because he suggested it was the only way to prevent a second outbreak;
- Fears of a second wave were sparked after Iran became the first country in the world to report another group of coronavirus infections after it had eased its blocking;
- Half of the British flee Chinese products and two thirds would like the government to impose more tariffs on imports from the Communist state, according to a poll;
- Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has revealed that it is already manufacturing the Oxford University experimental vaccine in India, the UK and Europe when it plans to distribute 2 billion doses as early as September if it works;
- TV presenter Kate Garraway burst into tears after revealing that her gravely ill husband Derek Draper thanked her for “saving her life” before falling into a coma during her 10-week battle with the coronavirus .
London Mayor Khan today expressed sympathy for the protesters protesting the “brutal death” of Floyd, but said he would not attend the protests due to the pandemic of coronavirus – and urged those who will follow “medical and scientific advice”.
Mr. Khan said, “It means you have to stand two meters away from anyone outside your home, it means you think you might interact with someone else wearing a covering non-medical facial, it means you cannot wash your hands. Take a hand sanitizer regularly and carefully with you.
Meanwhile, Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater London, said he would not attend the protests either and urged others not to do so as well.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Although I understand the wish of people to protest what is happening in the United States and those who wish to send this message of solidarity, it can be done in different ways.
“And I would say that it is not at all ideal, is it, to come together in these circumstances where we are still facing a very high risk in the North West of England.
“I would normally like to be there to show my support, but I won’t do it specifically for these reasons. “
Laurence Taylor, Assistant Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, warned that future mass rallies to protest the death of George Floyd would be “illegal” due to current restrictions in place
Sadiq Khan (left photo) told Sky News, “If you feel you have to personally go to protest – I’m not personally protest – make sure you follow the advice, keep two meters away.” Pictured right: Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said he would not go to protests either because of the risk of Covid-19
Protesters fight with members of the Police Tactical Support Group during a Black Lives Matter demonstration on June 3 in London
“Imagine how you would feel protesting because you feel so strongly about the brutal death of George Floyd, you understand the importance of black lives, they count, but you inadvertently caught the virus, went home and gave it away to your elderly mother or father who has caught the virus and may unfortunately die.
“This is why it is so important, I understand how convinced people are, especially black Londoners and black British citizens, but be sure to follow the advice. “
Where are the events planned for this weekend?
Parliament Square – London – 1 p.m.
Devonshire Green – Sheffield – 1 p.m.
Piccadilly Gardens – Manchester – 1 p.m.
Town Hall – Ipswich – 2 p.m.
Leicester City Center – 1 p.m.
American Embassy – Dublin – 2 p.m.
Guildhall Square – Derry – 3 p.m.
Embassy of the United States – London – 2 p.m.
Place Saint-Pierre – Manchester – 2 p.m.
Forest Recreation Ground – Nottingham – 12 noon
Street Gardens Prize – Edinburgh – 1 p.m.
College Green – Bristol – 2 p.m.
George Square – Glasgow – 2 p.m.
Haymarket – Norwich – 2 p.m.
Godiva – Coventry – 1 p.m.
Colchester – Castle Park – 1 p.m.
Derby Council House – Derby – 2 p.m.
He said he would not attend the demonstration because he did not want to catch the virus and bring it to his mother, who has underlying health problems.
Khan also told Sky News, “If you feel you have to personally go to protest – I’m not personally protest – make sure you follow the advice, keep two meters away. “
Crowds gathered in London and Birmingham this week to protest the death of 46-year-old Floyd after an officer restrained him by kneeling him in Minneapolis on May 25.
This sparked protest days in the United States and Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests around the world.
Michael Lockwood, director general of the Independent Office for the Conduct of Police (IOPC), which oversees complaints against the forces in England and Wales, has now urged officers to listen to ethnic minority communities.
Writing in The Independent, he said: “Currently, British communities are expressing real and growing concerns about disproportionality.
“Just two weeks ago, we highlighted the growing community concern over the use of the Taser.
“We also hear concerns about arrests and searches and, more recently, the fines imposed during the foreclosure are disproportionate to blacks.
“There needs to be more research to understand the issues of disproportionality, as well as the assurance and careful consideration of tactics such as the use of force and arrest and search. “
Protesters in Birmingham on Thursday “made their voices heard clearly,” police said, but there were no arrests or disturbances.
Crowds gathered in the city’s centennial square, where silence was observed in memory of Mr. Floyd.
Protesters, many of whom wore protective masks, were to assemble in nearby Victoria Square, but moved to a larger area to promote social distancing.
Several hundred people then made their way to an area outside the West Midlands police headquarters, Lloyd House, where many of them knelt or sat on the road with their fists raised.
The protest came after pockets of protesters clashed with police as thousands of people invaded central London and abandoned social distance for a BLM protest on Wednesday.
London Mayor Khan said he was sympathetic to the protesters protesting the “brutal death” of Floyd (photo), but said he would not attend the protests due to the pandemic. coronavirus – and urged those who will follow “medical and scientific advice”
Members of the Black Lives Matter campaign group and their supporters gather in central London to demonstrate on June 3
A strong mounted police presence watches over members of the campaign group Black Lives Matter and his supporters, gather in central London to demonstrate on June 3
After a largely peaceful protest in Hyde Park, in which Star Wars actor John Boyega delivered a passionate speech, tensions then escalated outside Downing Street.
Metropolitan police said 13 people had been arrested.
Protests across the United States included clashes between police and protesters, officers recording tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd.
Mr. Floyd’s body is due to travel to Raeford, North Carolina, where he was born, for a two-hour public visit and private family service on Saturday.
A public screening will take place Monday in Houston, where he has lived most of his life.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “dismayed and disgusted” to see what happened to Mr. Floyd, while UK police chiefs issued a joint statement saying that they “stood by alongside all those in the world who are dismayed and horrified. “
An online rally is to be held this Sunday, said the campaign group Stand Up to Racism, with speakers to discuss “how we can turn the new wave of anger at racism and injustice into an effective movement for the change ”.