Protesters Arrested at Royal Coronation Spared Legal Action


During a royal procession, a band of protestors hoisted signs stipulating, “Not My King.” Following the coronation of the King, 21 of these protestors were taken into custody by the Met Police, yet they have since confirmed no further legal proceedings will be pursued against these individuals.

The decision not to press charges was made by prosecutors for those apprehended on the Mall and Whitehall in London, on the 6th of May. Despite facing criticism for their response to the situation, the police commented that the arrests were prompted by threats of public disturbance and for the purpose of maintaining peace.

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Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist expressed earnest apprehension regarding the event’s security. In the hours leading up to the coronation, the force had gathered intelligence hinting at activists’ design to disrupt the procession. Twist shared his apprehension about these disruptive efforts intruding upon a rare, nationally significant event and potentially disturbing the security and safety of attendees and the general public.

He addressed his officers on these matters, underlining the importance of initiative in handling the risk and curtailing any potential dangers to public safety or the event’s security. He further disclosed that three of the individuals detained but subsequently not charged, were located near the procession’s route in the early hours of the day. In their possession were glue, a banner associated with a recognized activist group, Allen keys, and other items that could feasibly facilitate criminal damage or disruption.

In the wake of the event, human rights groups coined the arrest of anti-monarchy protestors as “disturbing”. Among those detained throughout the day were eight members of Republic, a group lobbying for an elected head of state. Chief Executive of the group, Graham Smith, was held under suspicion of preparing to ‘lock-on’– a popular means of protest aimed at making participants challenging to displace. He and five others carried luggage straps, allegedly for holding their placards intact.

Smith, who was detained for over 14 hours, contended that for four months prior, he had been in discussion about the planned demonstration with senior Met staff. He termed the remarks from Matt Twist as untruthful and called for an end to the use of the uniqueness of the coronation event as a justification for authoritarian policing strategies. Last month, he declared a lawsuit against the Met, arguing that his arrest lacked necessary justification.

In light of these developments, it remains imperative that civil liberties are respected and upheld, even amidst events of significant national importance. Continued discourse and dialogue is encouraged to ensure the preservation of public safety while respecting the right to peaceful protest.