23 people have been arrested in central London after participating in the #FreedomToDance marches organized by Save Our Scene, an organization formed to protect the music and hospitality sectors in the UK.
The protests came after a proposed lift of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions—originally slated for June 21st—was postponed to July 19th by the UK government. Revelers, industry professionals, musical artists, and other figures were dismayed at the contentious decision, which sees the region remain under lockdown with no nightlife activity for yet another month.
An official statement released by Save Our Scene reads: "The music industry has shown its capacity to open safely and responsibly through multiple pilot events, strongly suggesting this is a political decision not data driven, giving the Government no reason to delay reopening on the 19th July."
At the protests, marchers staged demonstrations by dressing as fake police officers with pig noses, holding signs that read "free the press" and "cut the crap," climbing scaffolding to hang banners, and in one instance, dumping manure in front of the headquarters of several national newspapers in Kensington.
Police foiled a similar manure-dumping attempt outside of the Daily Telegraph offices before it happened.
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"A total of 23 people were arrested as a result of the proactive operation by police," a statement from the London Metropolitan Police reads. "We arrested five people for an offence under Section 148 of the Highways Act. Four of the five were also arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage."
"Today’s demonstrations have now concluded. A small group remain in the area of #Westminster and police remain with them."
Learn more about the #FreedomToDance protests at Save Our Scene's official Instagram page.