Police have arrested more than 60 people during anti-lockdown protests in central London.
Hundreds of protesters, including a man dressed as Santa, marched through Westminster shouting “shame on you” and “freedom”, disrupting traffic on Saturday afternoon.
The Metropolitan Police said officers had made more than 60 arrests by 3 p.m.
Police said, “These were for a number of different crimes, including violating the restrictions of the coronavirus.
A man is being held by police during an anti-lockdown protest in Kings Cross St Pancras, London.
“We expect this number to increase. We keep urging people to go home. “
Activists marched from Hyde Park to Oxford Circus and Regent Street and collided with helmeted police who arrived in several vans and responded to the chaos.
Cops grappled with people on the ground trying to hold them in various locations while onlookers scolded and filmed on their phones.
At one point, green smoke was released when protesters were surrounded by police at the top of Carnaby Street.
The main crowd of protesters seemed to disperse near Piccadilly Circus before reforming elsewhere in the shopping district.
Protesters, including some dressed as Christmas elf, waved signs saying “All I want for Christmas is my freedom back”, “Close the masks” and “Stop controlling us”.
Several people were handcuffed by officers, while the police action was met with cheers as protesters, many without face masks, ignored requests to go home.
Protesters at an anti-lockdown protest in Oxford Circus, London.
Protest is not a permitted exception to the ban on rallies under current coronavirus regulations in England, and those attending officers’ risk enforcement action had warned the Metropolitan Police over the weekend.
The grassroots group Save Our Rights UK, claiming to be working for democracy, appeared to be leading the protest called Unite For Freedom – Time For Action.