Hundreds gather at illegal protest against lockdown

Hundreds of people have gathered at a protest against the national lockdown in England.

Witnesses say no-one appeared to be wearing a mask or abiding by social distancing rules at the protest in the centre of Manchester.

Video circulating on social media showed a man on a loudhailer addressing the crowd, reports Manchester Evening News.

He said: “Those 300-plus politicians that voted for the lockdown are treasonous.”

The comment prompted cheering from those in the crowd.

The man urged people to share videos of the event on social media.

“From this day forward, it will be for every single one of us to be brave,” he said.

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A police spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Police is aware of a large gathering in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester City Centre and officers are in attendance.

“Prior to this gathering, officers engaged with the organiser; explained the restrictions; and encouraged compliance and are continuing to do so.

“Under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, a Section 34 Dispersal Order has been authorised for Manchester City Centre until 6.45pm today (Sunday 8 November 2020). This means members of the public must not gather in the area. Failure to comply is a criminal offence.

“GMP would also like to use this opportunity to remind members of the public that, under the national Covid-19 restrictions, gatherings of more than two people are unlawful. We encourage people to comply with these restrictions, as we have throughout this public health crisis, to help keep themselves and others safe.”

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