Right-wing counter protesters to the Black Lives Matter movement were among groups who gathered in London on Saturday in what some said was an effort to protect public symbols of British history.
Videos on social media showed some of the demonstrators singing the British national anthem and chanting “England,” amid a tense atmosphere and heavy police presence.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the threats against the Churchill statue ‘absurd’ and ‘shameful, tainted by evidence of racist and supremacist views.
Scaffolding was also placed around statues of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, as the mayor said that far-right groups intended to remove these statues.
London’s Metropolitan Police imposed several restrictions ahead of the scheduled protests including requiring the events to end at 5 p.m local time and also warned protesters to reconsider attending at all due to the coronavirus pandemic.