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Dozens arrested at anti-lockdown protests in London

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A police officer takes away a protester during the rally
A police officer takes away a protester during the rally   -   Copyright  TOLGA AKMEN / AFP
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Dozens of people were arrested on Saturday amid protests against lockdown measures intended to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Activists and conspiracy theorists also took to the streets to protest against the COVID-19 vaccine which authorities hope to roll out soon.

The Metropolitan Police has earlier warned that the gatherings would not be permitted given restrictions currently in place to fight coronavirus in England.

The demonstrators, some with placards reading “stop controlling us” and “no more lockdowns,” marched along Oxford Street and Regent Street in the city’s central shopping district.

Police officers led several people away in handcuffs after protesters ignored requests to disperse.

Several bottles and smoke bombs were thrown as some demonstrators scuffled with police.

The police force said more than 60 people were arrested and the number was expected to rise.

Mass gatherings are banned under England’s current lockdown measures.

Britain’s relatively small but vocal anti-lockdown movement includes anti-vaccine activists, conspiracy theorists and people who believe the restrictions infringe civil liberties.