James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Two people arrested as thousands of anti-vaxxers storm the capital
18 September 2021, 22:17
Two people were arrested during anti-vax protests on Saturday as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of London.
The two arrests were made on suspicion of criminal damage and affray following an incident as the group reached Downing Street, the Metropolitan Police said.
Protesters had been seen making their way through the West End in the afternoon, heading down from Oxford Circus to Trafalgar Square before moving on towards Whitehall.
The march was a part of the World Wide Rally for Freedom, which saw anti-vaxxers protest against Covid vaccines and passports.
There was particular concern for children, with some signs reading "leave our kids alone" and "don't jab our kids".
It comes after the government announced that it will be offering children aged between 12 and 15 the chance to get the Covid vaccine, following advice from Chief Medical Officers (CMOs).
There has been added worries after it was revealed that children will be able to get the jab against their parents' wishes too, which was highlighted at the event.
One boy held a card which read: "I'm a child, I can't consent."
However, the government has confirmed that children will only get the choice after a meeting with a clinician.
Throughout the march, Police updated Londoners with developments on Twitter, with officers following crowds across the city to ensure there were no major incidents.
At 5.17pm, they marked the end of the event, saying: "The roads in Westminster have now reopened and are returning to normal."
The large crowds gathering throughout the city were said to have caused "minor disruption" to traffic.
Despite ongoing protests, over 48.5 million people in the UK have so far received their first dose of the Covid vaccine, with over 44.3 million having had their second jabs too.
It comes as the government also intends to introduce booster jabs in coming weeks, beginning with those over 50, those in care homes and frontline health and social care workers.
The UK's top medical experts said the one-off jab would help protect people from the virus this winter, with the flu and norovirus also expected to put added strain on the NHS.