Left-wing establishment media darling Graham Smith was among a group of anti-Monarchy protesters wearing shirts and carrying placards inscribed with the message “Not My King” arrested by London’s Metropolitan Police ahead of the procession for the Coronation of King Charles III on Saturday.
Graham Smith, the chief executive of Republic, alongside five other members of the anti-monarchist campaign group, was seen being arrested at Trafalgar Square as they were preparing to hold a protest against the system of hereditary monarchy, an institution that dates back over a thousand years.
Smith, who has been given prominent coverage in the legacy media — including from the BBC — during the lead-up to the Coronation of the King, was said to have been unloading placards bearing the inscription “Not My King” from a van at the time of his arrest, according to Republic activist Luke Whiting.
“It’s quite a worrying thing to happen – we’re pretty shocked actually, and quite surprised – like I said we’ve been quite open with the police about what we’re trying to do, they’ve said it’s perfectly legal for us to bring placards, bring flags down and protest the Coronation,” the activist told Sky News.
“In a democratic society, it’s absolutely our right to do this and to be peaceful, absolutely, and that’s what we’re here to do. We’ve not planned any disruption at all.”
Republic, the leading anti-monarchist group in Britain, argues for the abolishment of the monarchy and for the King to be replaced with an elected head of state, a position that would still largely be ceremonial in nature akin to the presidency in countries like Germany.
Organisers of the #NotMyKing protest have been arrested – police won’t say what for https://t.co/D3Io5Nha4x
— Republic (@RepublicStaff) May 6, 2023
According to the left-wing Guardian newspaper, the anti-Royal protest at Trafalgar Square also drew the likes of Patrick Thelwell, 23, who was found guilty last month of a public order offence after he threw eggs at the King during a visit to York last year.
“I’ve absolutely not brought any eggs,” Thelwell said. “My parole officer tells me counter-terrorism is following me. I am sure that I will be arrested anyway. It will be interesting to see how far we have descended into being a fascist country.”
The protest was also expected to include speeches from the likes of far-left Labour MP Clive Lews, as well as from activist Peter Tatchell and leftist lawyer Paul Powlesland.
Man Arrested For Assault After Egg Thrown at King Charles IIIhttps://t.co/x0I0YyMGTo
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 6, 2022
The Metropolitan Police, which marshalled some 11,500 police officers for the event, said prior to the Coronation that there would be an “extremely low threshold” for protests during the celebrations, and disruptors would see “swift action” against them.
In addition to the Republic activists, a group of around a dozen climate change protesters from the radical group Just Stop Oil, notorious for blocking highways and defacing artwork, was also arrested on the Mall on Saturday, according to the BBC.
In a statement following the arrest of the anti-Monarchist activists, the Met said: “A significant police operation is underway in central London. We have made a number of arrests in the area of Carlton House Terrace.
“The individuals have been held on suspicion of breaching the peace. Earlier today we arrested four people in the area of St Martin’s Lane.
“They were held on suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance. We seized lock-on devices. A further three people were arrested in the area of Wellington Arch.
“They were held on suspicion of possessing articles to cause criminal damage. There will be further updates later today.”
How to Enjoy the Coronation Without Betraying America: A Field Guide https://t.co/FCtAmwXkRd
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 5, 2023
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