Anti-lockdown protest on Acton Green dispersed by police

24 February, 2021 / by Matt Smith

Images above: a police officer politely asks musicians to pack up their things, a cyclist chastises the protestors telling them to “go home

A small anti-lockdown protest which took place on Acton Green was dispersed by police on Tuesday 23 February, after going on for almost an hour and a half.

Roughly thirty people gathered to listen to a group of musicians protesting against the lockdown restrictions, playing songs such as Born To Be Wild and I Want To Break Free in the park opposite Turnham Green station.

The band handed out leaflets with future ‘tour’ dates, as they intend to drive around the UK illegally, to perform further outdoor gigs.

At one point a member of the public, a cyclist in a hi-vis jacket, told the group of musicians to go home and was visibly agitated. Another person commented on social media: “Listening to his voice makes me want to say at home!”

Images above: a police officer politely requests the musicians to disperse, band member called Campell showing leaflets, a protestor who described the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a “plandemic”

Event rife with conspiracy theorists

The protestors handed out leaflets questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns. This is despite the overwhelming scientific evidence presented that lockdowns have been effective in lowering the infection rate of COVID-19. The leaflets also referred to conspiracy theories about the pandemic.

The phrase ‘Save Our Children’, used in the leaflet is a phrase used by the QAnon extremist conspiracy movement, which claims that a cabal of satan-worshipping paedophiles are in control of the world.

The lockdown-sceptic YouTube channel ‘Resistance GB’ interviewed several members of the public who attended the event. Some claimed the virus is a hoax and the UK-wide lockdown is illegal.

Over 122,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the UK, including 579 in LB Hounslow.

One woman claimed that lockdown had led to a spike in suicides amongst young people. She also said that that the event was essential to raise awareness of mental health problems. There is currently no evidence suicide rates in the UK have risen during lockdown, according to Samaritans.

Images above: a band member (left) continues to dance with a member of the public (centre left) in front of a police officer asking them to disperse; anti-lockdown musician refusing to disperse whilst police look on; a woman argues with the police officer claiming the event is essential to raise awareness of mental health of young people

No arrests made

The event went on for over an hour and a half before the police eventually intervened. One officer told the rule-breakers:

“You’re obviously breaching the Covid legislation […] so guys you’re going to have to go in the next five minutes otherwise we have more resources coming and you’re going to be arrested.”

Members of the public attempted to argue with the officer. One woman blamed the police for causing the crowd to gather around the musicians, rather than the musicians themselves.

Members of both the band and public were slow to leave the area, with one band member continuing to dance with an elderly lady in front of a police officer, who had arrived as back-up to help disperse the crowd.

Reportedly, no arrests were made and no Fixed Penalty Notices were issued. The band set off to their next event which is scheduled to be in Brighton according to their website.

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