Sir Winston Churchill’s statue in Parliament Square, Westminster has been vandalised on the 76th anniversary of the D-Day landings by Black Lives Matter protesters.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Home Secretary Priti Patel — whose department has a wide remit including policing, border control, and national security — had warned against today’s protest in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and associated lockdown regulations, which up until now have been enforced with zeal by the authorities.
Black Lives Matter activists have ignored these warnings, however, with the number of protesters in Parliament Square continuing to swell as of the time of this article’s publication, and the statue erected to the memory of Britain’s war-time leader there already defaced with “ACAB” graffiti — short for “All Coppers Are Bastards”.
Footage shared on social media shows one unidentified man, seemingly not a protester, incensed by the “disgusting” act, and warning the police he will “get all the football lads” out to guard the statue — suggesting it could become a flashpoint later on in the protest.
Warnings from the Health Secretary and Met Police Commissioner for people NOT to protest today – haven’t worked. Thousands already here at the Black Lives Matter protest in Parliament Square. #BLMLDN @LBC pic.twitter.com/ALiuy1w5Ow
— Rachael Venables (@rachaelvenables) June 6, 2020
Police were physically targeted at the last London demonstration, with video footage showing officers being chased through the streets and smashed to the ground, and also assaulted outside the gates guarding the Prime Minister’s official residence on Downing Street — despite several officers having kneeled in submission to the protesters at various points in the demonstration.
Symbols of Britain’s war-time sacrifice were also targeted, with demonstrators pictured swinging from the flags adorning the Cenotaph monument which honours the fallen of the country and its former empire on Whitehall.
The Metropolitan Police and elements of the mainstream media, such as Reuters, attempting to play down this act of desecration, which earned Charlie Gilmour, son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, a prison sentence in 2011 — with “fact checks” it was “not defaced” and did not suffer “damage”, causing a number of social media users to criticise them for being disingenuous.
This protest in London now has nothing to do with George Floyd.
It is anarchy in the face of weak leadership.
To desecrate The Cenotaph tells us these people hate our values, our culture and our country. Enough. pic.twitter.com/CtfKtg1Aqq
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 3, 2020