Up to 10,000 coronavirus-deniers have gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square to protest against lockdowns and vaccination programmes.
The ‘Unite for Freedom’ rally started at noon and called for an ‘end to Government lies’ and the ‘restoration of all freedoms.’
Pictures from the demonstration showed a sizeable crowd gathered in the square, holding signs warning that coronavirus is a ‘scam’ and a ‘hoax.’
One man held a homemade placard on which he had scrawled ‘no to mandatory vaccines.’
Another called the World Health Organisation the ‘World Hoax Organisation’ and someone else proudly held a sign calling for an ‘end to medical tyranny.’
More than 40,000 people have now died with the virus in UK, but one man’s sign said it was ‘fake science’ and comparable to a ‘bad flu.’
One protestor unfurled a flag showing the symbol of the British Union of Fascists while another woman was seen promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory that believes a cabal of Satan-worshipping Democrats, Hollywood celebrities and billionaires run the world while engaging in paedophilia.
Protestors, none of whom appeared to be wearing face masks, filled the area beneath the National Gallery.
A flyer for the event said the demo would be addressed by ‘top professional doctors and nurses speaking out’. Jeremy Corbyn’s brother, Piers, was due to make an appearance alongside conspiracy theorist David Icke.
Mr Icke, who was kicked off Facebook for publishing ‘health misinformation that could cause physical harm’ earlier this year, said it was a ‘joy to look out over an island of sanity in a world of madness.’
The flyer called on people to ‘reject the tyranny’ while warning that the Government is due to vote on a two year extension to ‘draconian Covid laws’ in September 2020.
It comes as countries around the world continue to battle with thousands of new infections and deaths a day.
‘Anti-corona’ protests have also been taking place in Berlin where thousands of sceptics gathered by the Brandenburg Gate.
Police had tried to stop the protests from taking place but a German regional court gave the go-ahead for the mass demonstrations.
Around 3,000 officers were deployed to control the crowds of around 20,000 people.
Some activists opposed to the virus measures in Germany have been urging social media followers across Europe to ‘arm themselves’ for the gathering.
Until now Germany has managed the coronavirus crisis better than many of its European counterparts, with rigorous testing helping to hold down infections and deaths.
But new daily infections have accelerated in recent weeks, as in much of the world. On Friday, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to keep up their guard against the virus.
One of the protestors, Stefan, 43, said: ‘I’m not an extreme right-wing sympathiser, I’m here to defend our fundamental freedoms.’
Another, Christina Holz, 22, added: ‘We’re here to say: we have to be careful. Coronavirus crisis or not, we must defend our freedoms.’
As protestors began a march away from the gate, police decided to shut the event down because people weren’t following social distancing guidelines.
‘The minimum distancing is not being respected by most (of the demonstrators) despite repeated requests,’ the police said. ‘There is no other option than to break up the gathering.’
The latest figures show the pandemic has killed at least 838,271 people worldwide since surfacing in China late last year. More than 24.7 million cases have been registered.
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