UK police arrest leader of anti-monarchy group ahead of King Charles’ coronation

British police have arrested leading republican movement and other organizers of an anti-monarchist protest, ahead of King Charles’ coronation on Saturday.

A photo posted on Twitter showed Graham Smith, head of anti-monarchist group Republic, sitting on the ground surrounded by a group of police officers. An officer at the scene said several republican protesters had been arrested.

A republic activist said in London’s Trafalgar Square, that, “They’ve arrested six of our organizers and seized hundreds of placards, they won’t tell us why they’ve arrested them or where they’re being held.”

London police chief Mark Rowley had warned on Friday that there would be a “very low tolerance for disruption” on the streets in central London where tens of thousands of people have gathered to watch the royal processions.

Yasmine Ahmed, the UK director of Human Rights Watch, condemned the arrests, saying, “The reports of people being arrested for peacefully protesting the coronation are incredibly alarming.”

“Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power to account, something the UK government seems increasingly averse to.”

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