Anti-monarchy leader Smith was released after 16 hours in London

Graham Smith a few days ago
Graham Smith a few days ago

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The leader of the British anti-monarchist “republican” movement, Graham Smith, was released overnight after 16 hours in detention.

On Saturday morning he had been taken into police custody – accused of wanting to stir up “unrest” – as he gathered with a small group of other armed men to protest the state coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla. His entourage confirmed this.

Smith was arrested by Scotland Yard along with six followers, as part of a preventative operation that began even before the ceremony and concluded, according to yesterday’s final assessment, with more than 50 arrests among Republican activists and radical environmentalists from groups like Just Stop Oil. .

Human Rights Watch criticized the authorities

“Let’s not get it wrong, the UK is no longer a place where you can protest peacefully,” Smith tweeted on the sidelines of the episode, decrying the recent tightening of the Tory government. Rishi Sunak By approving the public order bill and the freedom of hand granted to the police, as he put it. “I have been told many times that the monarchy is here to defend our liberties, but now our liberties are under attack in its name,” he added.

Criticism of the authorities for behavior defined as “authoritarian” has also come from human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch and from supporters of the Labor left such as Richard Burgon, an internal opponent of Keir Starmer’s moderate, pro-monarchy leadership. .

While Soila Braverman, Home Minister in Sunak’s government, commended the police for “observing the law” by ensuring tens of thousands of people celebrated the coronation in the street as part of an “important day for the country” and for protecting citizens. The association of the majority of Britons with the “monarchy”.

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Earl Warner

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