Friday, October 30, 2020
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This shocking police attack on free speech

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IN Sunday’s TCW, Kathy Gyngell expressed her shock and anger about the way that the previous afternoon’s rally in Trafalgar Square to protest against the government’s Covid-19 restrictions was broken up by police. 

I was also there and had a good vantage point close to the platform. As Kathy mentioned, the organisers of the event had gone out of their way to be co-operative with the police, even having a minute’s silence for the officer who was stabbed to death in Croydon last week.

There were some excellent speakers, who stuck to the point, were brief and had good soundbites. Others were less concise, but the point was that we were all there as one. The afternoon was entirely peaceful and it was heartening to see a true-cross section of British society represented.

Suddenly, without warning or provocation, police officers invaded the platform area and turned off the loudspeakers, shutting down the star speaker, Dr Heiko Schoening*, representing the views of numerous doctors in Germany, and who only a few weeks ago had addressed a million people in his home country.

The protesters were dispersed by mounted police and officers in riot gear, hardly appropriate for an obviously peaceful rally. Individual stewards with loudhailers did their best to give advice, but it ended up with many going home, some attempting to go to Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and others going to Hyde Park about half an hour’s walk away.

Dr Schoening was determined to speak, as he had travelled to the UK to do so, and he went with some hundred of the protesters to Hyde Park. I walked there with him, and he started to give his speech but only after a number of the protesters had begun to disperse. For apparently no reason at all, when he was halfway through it, the police invaded the small gathering, took the speaker equipment away and arrested him.*

Some people tried to passively prevent the police taking him away but they were swept aside. I did help a female solicitor to get through police lines to try to represent him, but at the time of writing I do not know what has happened.

I have to confess that I was deeply shocked. One point which I found disturbing was senior police instructing their officers to not talk to the protesters. This seemed sinister because at other demonstrations, such as Black Lives Matter, police officers have been encouraged to speak to protesters and engage with them. It seems that if you are protesting against the government’s lockdown measures, police will not speak to you, but if it is a protest the government does not object to, they will. The double standard is unacceptable. However, in smaller groups, some protesters did manage to speak with police officers, who after all have to obey orders, and found that many do not support this lockdown government. They know they are being used as nothing more than political police.

The big question is, why did the police receive instructions to shut the main speaker down? My own thoughts were that Dr Schoening was the one speaker the establishment did not want to be heard as he had the most medical evidence to be made public.

The reputation of the police and the government was tarnished by this action against free speech. It was unnecessary and pointless. The protesters were treated appallingly with several being injured. It is to be hoped there will be many complaints to the Police Complaints Authority and many questions asked.

*Dr Schoening is a member of the self styled ‘Extra-Parliamentary Investigation Committee on Coronavirus’ known in Germany as ACU (German: Außerparlamentarischer Corona Untersuchungsauschuss) whose stated purpose is to present ‘the truth about the Covid-19 epidemic to the public, which the initiators believe looks very different from what they are sold by governments and the mass media’.

Editor’s note: We understand Dr Schoening was released from Wandsworth police station on Monday after being held there for 22 hours. At this time we are not aware on what grounds the police arrested him or why it was so long before they released him. We have been sent this film of the start of his speech at Trafalgar Square and the fast-descending chaos as the police took over the platform.

We will be posting further eye-witness accounts in coming days that reveal how poorly and from what a limited perspective the police break-up of this rally was covered by the MSM.

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Anthony Webber
Anthony Webber is an independent political commentator and strategist

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