London, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- Right-wing protesters clashed with police in London on Saturday after staging a counter-demonstration against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Anti-racist marches have been held across the United Kingdom in recent weeks, sparked by the death of George Floyd in the United States.
Last weekend activists tore down a statue of a slaveholder in Bristol and former prime minister Winston Churchill in London’s Parliament Square was also daubed with graffiti denouncing the wartime leader as a racist.
This led to counter-demonstrations in the capital this weekend with crowds gathering around the statue of Churchill, which has been encased in a protective cover, in Parliament Square and the nearby Cenotaph war memorial.
Some protesters threw bottles and pushed officers near Westminster Bridge and there were tensions between the two sides in Trafalgar Square, central London.
There were also demonstrations in other cities including Belfast in Northern Ireland and Brighton, southwest England.
British home secretary Priti Patel denounced the scenes on Saturday as “unacceptable thuggery” in a tweet.
“Any perpetrators of violence or vandalism should expect to face the full force of the law,” she wrote.
“Violence towards our police officers will not be tolerated.
“Coronavirus remains a threat to us all. Go home to stop the spread of this virus and save lives.”