Black Lives Matter protesters prepare to march on UK cities for fourth straight weekend


Black Lives Matter (BLM) protestors are preparing to march on cities across the UK for the fourth consecutive weekend.

Police are expecting crowds of anti-racism demonstrators to march through London as well as cities including Glasgow and Birmingham.

Forces have warned against violence and urged crowds to follow social distancing rules introduced at the height of the pandemic.

Ten people have now been charged with offences in connection with the BLM protests and far-right counter demonstrations in London over the past three weekends after they erupted into violence. 

One man, Andrew Banks, has already been jailed for urinating next to the memorial of PC Keith Palmer who died in the Westminster Bridge terror attack.

Police are expecting crowds of anti-racism demonstrators in London as well as cities including Glasgow and Birmingham (pictured, activists marching through Birmingham yesterday)

Police are expecting crowds of anti-racism demonstrators in London as well as cities including Glasgow and Birmingham (pictured, activists marching through Birmingham yesterday)

Andrew Banks was seen urinating next to a plaque honouring PC Keith Palmer who was stabbed to death during a terrorist attack in Westminster in 2017

Andrew Banks was seen urinating next to a plaque honouring PC Keith Palmer who was stabbed to death during a terrorist attack in Westminster in 2017

Banks in court

Banks, has already been jailed for urinating next to the memorial of PC Keith Palmer who died in the Westminster Bridge terror attack

Banks (right), has already been jailed for urinating next to the memorial of PC Keith Palmer who died in the Westminster Bridge terror attack. Left: Banks in court

The Met released images on Thursday of a further 35 suspects they want to speak to in connection with violence at the protests, which saw attacks on police horses and missiles thrown.

Football fan Banks, 28, was handed a 14-day immediate jail term on Monday after admitting one count of outraging public decency after coming to London to ‘defend’ statues.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot told him the offence had caused ‘public revulsion’.

On the same day two other protesters were remanded into custody after admitting assaults on police officers.

Daniel Allan, from Sunderland, admitted one count of violent disorder for kicking a police officer in the back.

The court heard Allan, 36, had travelled from his home as groups of right-wing protesters sought to protect statues around Whitehall and Trafalgar Square.

Previously, South African backpacker James Meikle admitted two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker for charging at police lines separating protesters in Soho.

Meikle, 38, had decided to spend his last day in London marching in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, but found himself remanded into custody until his sentencing on July 14.

Met Police Commander for Specialist Crime Alex Murray revealed that over 100 officers have been assaulted since the end of May (pictured, injured officer in Whitehall, June 7, 2020)

Met Police Commander for Specialist Crime Alex Murray revealed that over 100 officers have been assaulted since the end of May (pictured, injured officer in Whitehall, June 7, 2020)

On the same day Ferirai Mzila, 24, appeared in court charged with assaulting an emergency service worker during the protests of June 13.

Three further protesters have been charged in connection with last weekend’s demonstrations.

Hasan Khan, 21, has been charged with possession of a class B drug and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 13.

Liam Hanley, 29, was charged with possession of a class A drug and is due at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 10.

Matthew Cardwell was charged with criminal damage and will also appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 10.

So far, just two people have been charged for their role in the Black Lives Matter protests of June 6.

Christopher Scott, 28, denied two counts of assaulting an emergency worker after allegedly stubbing a cigarette out on the body-worn camera of one police officer, and kicking out at another.

Orson Shandilya, 23, has been charged with harassment and possession of a class A drug and will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on July 3.

People marching during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in Birmingham city centre yesterday

People marching during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in Birmingham city centre yesterday

And the Met said Brendon Cummins, 18, of no fixed address, will appear at the same court on June 30 charged with assaulting an emergency service worker in relation to a protest on June 1.

It comes as Met Police Commander for Specialist Crime, Alex Murray, revealed that over 100 officers have been assaulted since the end of May. 

Police have also urged people not to protest during the pandemic, while lockdown rules still prevent mass gatherings in England. 

Ahead of protests in London today, Commander Murray said: ‘I really hope we’re not going to see what we saw last weekend or the weekend before.

‘We don’t have any information there’s anyone from the Right wing attending but we have got information that large crowds of people will be attending.’ 

People have been urged to stay away from George Square in Glasgow ahead of an anti-racism rally due to take place (pictured, demonstrators in Birmingham yesterday)

People have been urged to stay away from George Square in Glasgow ahead of an anti-racism rally due to take place (pictured, demonstrators in Birmingham yesterday)

Yesterday, hundreds of protestors staged a four-hour BLM rally and marched through Birmingham. Three officers 'took the knee' during the peaceful protests

Yesterday, hundreds of protestors staged a four-hour BLM rally and marched through Birmingham. Three officers ‘took the knee’ during the peaceful protests

In the UK capital, monuments including the statue of Winston Churchill were boarded up after his plinth was defaced. 

Though the covers have been removed, police have no plans to position large numbers of officers around them to protect them. 

Commander Murray added: ‘We won’t have pre-prepared cordons around statues, but we will act on intelligence and information and if we hear something like that is planned then we would act as the public would expect us to.

‘The police have never asked for those statues to be protected. 

‘That’s a matter for the local authority. Our focus is on reducing violence and protecting the public, protecting citizens.

‘But we will also investigate if criminal damage takes place. So we will prevent violence and we’ll also try to prevent criminal damage.’ 

People have been urged to stay away from George Square in Glasgow ahead of an anti-racism rally due to take place. 

Scottish Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, the city’s local authority and Police Scotland called on the public not to gather at the location as ‘Say No To Racism’ plans to stage a demonstration there this morning.

Violence has broken out over recent weeks at the square.  

Chief Superintendent Hazel Hendren of Greater Glasgow said: ‘The disgraceful scenes we have witnessed in George Square are completely unacceptable and a robust policing response is in place for anyone intent on causing violent disruption.’

‘Please do not come to George Square tomorrow.’

Yesterday, hundreds of protestors staged a four-hour BLM rally and marched through Birmingham. Three officers ‘took the knee’ during the peaceful protests. 

Last weekend, hundreds of mainly white men – extremist and non-extremist – joined in a counter-protest to the BLM demonstration in central London.

A mob of Right-wing goons pelted police with bottles, barriers and fireworks in Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square last Saturday. 

About 1,000 protestors ignored a 5pm curfew and stayed by Nelson’s Column where troublemakers on both sides sparked skirmishes with police. 

BLM protestors gathered in Hyde Park, before 300 headed to Waterloo station after 5pm and chased men they said were members of the EDL. There, at least 15 people were injured, including six officers, and six people were taken to hospital.

Police fought to maintain control in Trafalgar Square on Saturday amid both Black Lives Matter (BLM) and pro-statue protests in London last Saturday

Police fought to maintain control in Trafalgar Square on Saturday amid both Black Lives Matter (BLM) and pro-statue protests in London last Saturday

A man identified as a far-right protester was carried to safety as animosity was briefly set aside on a day of clashes in London between rival groups and police last Saturday

A man identified as a far-right protester was carried to safety as animosity was briefly set aside on a day of clashes in London between rival groups and police last Saturday

The Metropolitan Police have arrested almost 230 protesters and released 35 images of people wanted over violent clashes during the recent protests. 

Andrew Banks, 28, from Essex, was jailed for two weeks on Monday after admitting urinating next to a memorial to PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death in the 2017 Westminster terror attack.

Daniel John Allan, 35, and James Meikle, 38, were remanded in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday after admitting attacks on police officers.

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