Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in central London

Police have clashed with anti-lockdown protesters at a demonstration in central London as officers tried to shut the event down.

Thousands of people massed in Trafalgar Square on Saturday carrying a variety of signs, flags and placards to take part in a "we do not consent" rally, none appearing to wear face coverings or to social distance.

But the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter that it was asking the crowds to disperse because they were not complying with social distancing rules.

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Anti-lockdown protest in London
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Anti-lockdown protest in London
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman gestures after falling as police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
An injured protestor gestures during a clash with protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A woman falls as police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A demonstrator bleeds from a wound to his head as police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Riot police face protesters who took part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
A protestor gestures during a clash with police in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
A demonstrator bleeds from a wound to his head as police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Riot police face protesters who took part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
English conspiracy theorist David Icke is guarded out of a demonstration after taking part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A policeman (2L) bleeds during a clash with protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
Police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
David Icke speaking at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
Protesters and police at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
A demonstrator bleeds from a wound to his head as police move in to disperse protesters in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Demonstrators attend a Resist and Act for Freedom anti-mask rally at Trafalgar Square on September 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
David Icke (left) at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau/PA Images via Getty Images)
People take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
People take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
People take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
People take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Piers Corbyn, the brother of former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, at a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square in London, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions.
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 26: Members of StandUpX, a community of people protesting vaccination and coronavirus (Covid-19) measures, gather at Trafalgar Square during a mass rally against wearing mask, taking test and government restrictions imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, in London, United Kingdom on September 26, 2020. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
A protester holds up an anti-Bill Gates placard in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Protesters gather in Trafalgar Square in London on September 26, 2020, at a 'We Do Not Consent!' mass rally against vaccination and government restrictions designed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus, including the wearing of masks and taking tests for the virus. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing masks take part in a 'We Do Not Consent' rally at Trafalgar Square, organised by Stop New Normal, to protest against coronavirus restrictions, in London, Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Conspiracy theorist David Icke attends a Resist and Act for Freedom anti-mask rally at Trafalgar Square on September 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: A woman prays during a Resist and Act for Freedom anti-mask rally at Trafalgar Square on September 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: A protestor holding a placard attends a Resist and Act for Freedom anit-mask rally at Trafalgar Square on September 26, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
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The force said demonstrators will be asked to leave and warned that anyone who stays could be subject to enforcement action.

Officers penned the crowd in Trafalgar Square and water was thrown at them by demonstrators while crowds also chanted "pick your side" at the officers.

Bottles were thrown and police used batons against protesters, leaving some with visible injuries.

At least three protesters and one officer were treated by medical staff.

Police removed sound equipment from Trafalgar Square and several protesters were led away in handcuffs.

Another demonstrator was physically carried away from the scene by officers.

The force said: "Crowds in Trafalgar Square have not complied with the conditions of their risk assessment and are putting people in danger of transmitting the virus.

"This has voided their risk assessment and we have informed the event organisers they are no longer exempt from the regulations.

"We are now asking those in Trafalgar Square to leave. Officers will be engaging with crowds and informing them of this development.

"By leaving now, you can keep yourself safe and avoid any enforcement action being taken by officers."

Earlier, police searched a man and confiscated a makeshift riot shield he was carrying.

Coronavirus - Sat Sep 26, 2020
David Icke speaking at the rally in Trafalgar Square (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The protest comes a week after a separate event which saw more than a dozen officers injured when a "small minority" targeted police and more than 32 arrests were made.

The Met said it had been engaging with organisers throughout the week to remind them of their legal obligations and explaining the events could be in breach of coronavirus regulations.

While protests are exempt from the "rule of six" in England, organisers must submit a risk assessment and comply with social distancing.

Police said some organisers had done so but where this had not happened the Met will "increase their engagement and encourage attendees to disperse".

They added that enforcement "remains a last resort but will be undertaken if required".

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