London protests: 12 arrested as thousands attend anti-lockdown protest

Anti-lockdown protesters have thrown tennis balls at Parliament and Downing Street as thousands joined a demonstration in central London

Police have arrested 12 people as planned protests in London get under way.

Thousands of protesters are in central London this weekend, with anti-lockdown and climate change demonstrations both taking place.

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Police carried out raids in three areas of London on Friday. Officers seized bamboo structures, lock-on equipment and other items.The arrests were "proactive action" to reduce the likelihood of criminal activity, Met Police said.

Protesters let off flares outside Downing Street during an anti-lockdown protest in central London ( PA)
Protesters let off flares outside Downing Street during an anti-lockdown protest in central London ( PA)

Those arrested have been taken to police custody as inquiries continue.

Tennis balls thrown at Parliament

Anti-lockdown protesters have thrown tennis balls at Parliament and Downing Street as thousands joined a demonstration in central London.

Chanting and whistling crowds carrying placards marched through the city centre towards Parliament Square on Saturday.

Protestors on the streets during a anti-lockdown protest in central London. (PA)

Hundreds of tennis balls, some bearing protest messages, were hurled over the fences surrounding the Houses of Parliament.

Asked why protesters were throwing tennis balls, one man, who did not wish to be named, said: “They have little messages on them. Most of them are not very nice.”

Protesters, many not wearing masks, carried placards bearing anti-vaccine and anti-restrictions messages, while others waved flags.

Iain McCausland, who travelled to London from Devon, said: “The main reason I’m here is because I feel this lockdown has come at the cost of our liberty and rights.

Tennis balls that were thrown inside the Houses of Parliament gates during a anti-lockdown protest in central London. (PA)

“Our freedom to assemble, our freedom to travel and work. I’m really quite angry with the Government, so are everyone here.”