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Georgia Headline USA Politics

US Capitol riots: Congressmen accused of ‘abetting’ protesters

Rep. Mikie Sherrill said Tuesday she saw lawmakers giving tours she perceived to be ‘a reconnaissance to groups Tuesday, January 5

A Democratic representative revealed Tuesday she witnessed members of Congress leading ‘reconnaissance’ tours through the Capitol the day before the mob stormed the building – as more details emerged over the attack indicating three Republican lawmakers may have helped protesters get inside.

Mikie Sherrill, who represents New Jersey’s 11th district, said during a Facebook Live video Tuesday night that she wants members of Congress who ‘abetted’ President Donald Trump and the violent crowd who descended on the Capitol to be held accountable and prevented from running for office in the future.

‘We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,’ Sherrill said of her colleagues she claims assisted Trump in inciting a crowd to storm the Capitol last Wednesday, January 6.

‘Not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material,’ she continued in her straight-to-camera remarks. 

‘I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 – a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy – I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.’

At the same time, new revelations are surfacing that a pro-Trump activist, Ali Alexander, claimed he was assisted by three GOP representatives to help organize the January 6 assault on the Capitol to disrupt the election certification.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared for her life during the riots, specifically expressing her concerns that some GOP lawmakers would give away her location to the mob.

Sherrill's comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Sherrill’s comments come as pro-Trump activist Ali Alexander revealed in a video on Periscope that three GOP lawmakers helped in organizing the disruption of Congress certifying the election for Joe Biden on January 6

Alexandria Ocasi-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week ¿ she did not name who she thought would do so

Alexandria Ocasi-Cortez said in an Instagram Live video Tuesday night that she feared her GOP colleagues would disclose her location to the mob during the riot last week – she did not name who she thought would do so

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn walks past members of the National Guard Wednesday morning as they try to get some sleep inside the U.S. Capitol

‘I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive, and not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense,’ the progressive lawmaker said during the hour-long live stream.

She called the close encounter ‘traumatizing’ and claimed her ‘near assassination’ is ‘not an exaggeration’.

‘There were QAnon and white supremacist sympathizers, and frankly white supremacist members of Congress, in that extraction point who I have felt would disclose my location and would create opportunities to allow me to be hurt, kidnapped, etc.,’ Ocasio-Cortez said.

She did not name any of the lawmakers she felt could have jeopardized her situation.

It is now known that Alexander told his followers on Periscope late last month that Republican Representatives Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs of Arizona and Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama were planning something big.

Alexander helped organize one of the demonstrations that converged on the Capitol lawn Wednesday – since then, his Facebook and Twitter accounts have been locked and he is banned from the social media platforms.

He said in a since-deleted video: ‘I want to let you guys know how we’re responding because I was the person who came up with the January 6 idea with Congressman Gosar, Congressman Mo Brooks and then Congressman Andy Biggs.’

All three lawmakers are hard-line Trump supporters.

‘We four schemed up of putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body hearing our loud roar from outside,’ Alexander detailed.

In the video to Periscope, he said the purpose of the rally was ‘to build momentum and pressure’ on the day Congress moved to certify the election for Joe Biden. He also vowed that his group ‘Stop the Steal’ would find rooms in the nation’s capital if hotels shut down in the midst of the unrest.

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the 'Stop the Steal' protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

Alexander, pictured here with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones during a demonstration in Georgia in November, helped organize the ‘Stop the Steal’ protesters who gathered near the Capitol before the chaos broke out last Wednesday

National Guard members get some shut eye on the floor of the Capitol as they cradled their weapons and huddled together

National Guard members get some shut eye on the floor of the Capitol as they cradled their weapons and huddled together

Troops were called in following the Capitol breach last week and by the end of the week there will be 10,000 National Guard members in Washington D.C. Some are shown spreading out inside the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning

Troops were called in following the Capitol breach last week and by the end of the week there will be 10,000 National Guard members in Washington D.C. Some are shown spreading out inside the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning

Alexander did not specifically call for violence and instead claimed the left is ‘trying to push us to war.’

Biggs’ office sent out a statement claiming the congressman has not met or spoken with Alexander.

Biggs’ office responded to CNN, claiming he has not met or spoken with Alexander.

‘Congressman Biggs is not aware of hearing of or meeting Mr. Alexander at any point — let alone working with him to organize some part of a planned protest,’ the representative’s spokesperson said.

‘He did not have any contact with protestors or rioters, nor did he ever encourage or foster the rally or protests,’ they continued. ‘He was focused on his research and arguments to work within the confines of the law and established precedent to restore integrity to our elections, and to ensure that all Americans — regardless of party affiliation — can again have complete trust in our elections systems.’

Biggs, Gosar and Brooks all came under fire after going forward with objecting to the election results even after the violent Capitol riot forced them to evacuate the chamber and delayed proceedings for hours.

Sherrill, in her thirteen-and-a-half minute video posted to Facebook Tuesday, did not reveal which lawmakers she saw showing constituents around the Capitol last week – but she did make the shocking claim that the January 5 tours were part of some effort to get protesters familiar with the building before storming it the next day.

While some GOP lawmakers have come under fire for inciting the riots – whether directly or indirectly – or standing idly by as they unfolded, this is the most serious charge yet against sitting members of Congress regarding the unprecedented attack last week.

The six-hour riot resulted in hundreds of injuries and five deaths, including one Capitol Police officer and a female Trump supporter.

The House voted Tuesday evening on a non-binding resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to get Trump out of office now. The vote passed 223-205, with Sherrill voting in favor of it, even though Pence notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier Tuesday that he would not comply with the measure.

With the 25th Amendment off the table, and no hope of Trump resigning before his last seven days are up, House Democrats are likely to move forward Wednesday on impeaching the president for the second time.

Sherrill said in her video that she intends to support the effort.

She also voiced the sharp divide, which is widening in Congress, claiming those who do not agree with Democratic ideals of democracy are ‘now on different sides of this line.’

Categories
Technology US

US Capitol enters lockdown as pro-Trump protesters storm building

Pro-Trump protesters have stormed the US Capitol building, effectively halting a vote to certify the results of the 2020 election. The Capitol is currently on lockdown, and lawmakers from both chambers have been evacuated as the mob has breached both congressional chambers and voting floors. Tear gas has reportedly been deployed in the rotunda in an effort to secure the building.

Local media is reporting that at least one person has been shot. Two nearby federal buildings (Cannon and Madison) have also been evacuated as have private residences near Capitol Hill.

More law enforcement officers are reportedly en route to the building in an apparent attempt to secure it. DC officials have requested help from the National Guard in regaining control, but the request was denied by the Department of Defense, according to a Washington Post reporter.

Protesters first gathered this week for an extended rally protesting efforts to certify the Electoral College tally for the 2020 presidential election. President Donald Trump spoke at the rally earlier today, encouraging attendees to resist congressional proceedings.

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats which is what they are doing,” Trump told the crowd. “That’s what they’ve done and what they’re doing. We will never give up, we will never concede.”

After protesters stormed the Capitol, Trump tweeted out a more conciliatory message: “Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!”

Aside from its political implications, the incident represents a catastrophic and unprecedented breach in congressional security. Typically, visitors to the US Capitol are extensively screened by Capitol Police for weapons and other potentially dangerous materials. The breakdown in security means none of the protesters have been through such screening, and it’s unclear whether any are armed.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has declared a citywide curfew from 6PM tonight until 6AM Thursday.

Developing…

Categories
Headlines UK London

Children among lockdown protesters at Nottingham march

Three people were arrested after hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters including dozens of children marched through Nottingham in a Covid-19 ‘Freedom Rally’.

Crowds demonstrated through the city’s Old Market Square, along its Embankment and gathered outside the BBC building this afternoon – just days after the city was plunged into Tier 4 lockdown measures.

Organisers could be heard chanting anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination messages as they blocked roads and demonstrated outside buildings, with little social distancing as they stood next to children.

Some demonstrators held up signs that read: ‘4,091 Covid deaths this week. Let’s party.’ 

Nottinghamshire Police told MailOnline three people were arrested and 12 fixed penalty notices were handed out amid the ‘illegal gathering in the city centre’.

They added that Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are currently in Tier 4, meaning people can only meet one other person outdoors and households are not allowed to mix indoors. 

‘The gathering was a planned protest which under current restrictions is also not allowed in order to stop the virus from spreading,’ the spokesperson added. 

Police were at the scene of a march through Nottingham city centre this afternoon, as demonstrators declared the Covid-19 pandemic as a ‘hoax’

Demonstrators claimed the Covid vaccine was in fact 'hydrogen with a bio sensor' as they stood outside the BBC headquarters

Demonstrators claimed the Covid vaccine was in fact ‘hydrogen with a bio sensor’ as they stood outside the BBC headquarters

The demonstration in Nottingham this afternoon came to an end after it started raining, according to local police

The demonstration in Nottingham this afternoon came to an end after it started raining, according to local police

According to the Nottingham Post, one of the organisers was heard shouting: ‘Hydrogen is going in with a bio sensor with that needle. We need people not to take that needle. 

‘Number one, save people from that needle. Wake those people up.’

Nottinghamshire Police have been monitoring the march, but no arrests are thought to have been made.

The protest came just days after Nottinghamshire was plunged into Tier 4 measures on New Year’s Eve – but demonstrators are said to have dispersed after it started raining. 

Addressing the officers, organisers claimed that the Covid-19 pandemic – which has killed more than 75,000 in the UK – is a ‘hoax’. 

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cooper from Nottinghamshire Police said: ‘We had an increased police presence this afternoon as we looked to maintain security and offer reassurance, as well as engaging with those present at the protest including organisers.

‘The police were on hand to make sure the wider public were kept safe and secure and preserve any evidence of any breaches before dispersing the crowd.

‘As a consequence we have made three arrests and issued 12 fixed penalty notices so far, with the likelihood this will rise.

‘We will continue to gather evidence for anyone who breaches coronavirus restrictions.

‘The vast majority of residents in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are continuing to adhere to the Coronavirus legislation and I thank them for that.

None of the demonstrators are thought to have been arrested during today's protest

None of the demonstrators are thought to have been arrested during today’s protest 

Nottinghamshire Police monitored the crowd's behaviour as it marched through the city today

Nottinghamshire Police monitored the crowd’s behaviour as it marched through the city today

Today's protest branded Covid-19 a hoax, while official figures declared there had been a further 54,990 confirmed cases in the UK

Today’s protest branded Covid-19 a hoax, while official figures declared there had been a further 54,990 confirmed cases in the UK

‘The new strain of the virus is everywhere including here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire and we need people to understand they have a responsibility to stop it spreading.

‘Large gatherings should not be happening. We ask anyone thinking of attending or organising one not to do so.

‘We have been clear from the outset that our approach during the Coronavirus outbreak has been to engage with members of the public, explain the current regulations and encourage people to follow the instructions. We have only used enforcement when it has been absolutely necessary to do so.

‘I would like to thank our officers for the professionalism they have shown throughout today in engaging with organisers of the protest.

‘The fact that our officers are having to attend gatherings such as these where the disease can spread and have a massive impact on our communities is unacceptable.

‘Our priority is to ensure the safety of you – the public, to keep disruption to a minimum as we look to facilitate protests and to deal positively with any criminal activity.

‘As always, if you have any concerns about any activity you see or believe a crime has been committed, please speak to an available officer or call Nottinghamshire Police using the 101 non-emergency number.’

As hundreds gathered in Nottingham to protest lockdown measures, growing pressure on the NHS is expected to see patients from London and the South East moved to the Midlands to cope with demand

As hundreds gathered in Nottingham to protest lockdown measures, growing pressure on the NHS is expected to see patients from London and the South East moved to the Midlands to cope with demand 

Protesters of all ages gathered in Nottingham this afternoon to protest Covid-19 measures - but dispersed as the rain rolled in

Protesters of all ages gathered in Nottingham this afternoon to protest Covid-19 measures – but dispersed as the rain rolled in

Official figures show there had been a further 54,990 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, up 80 per cent from last week’s case figure of 30,501, while the number of deaths had increased by 43 per cent from last Sunday to 454

It comes as official figures released today show there had been a further 54,990 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, up 80 per cent from last week’s case figure of 30,501, while the number of deaths had increased by 43 per cent. 

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate show there have now been 91,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK. 

The figures do not represent results from the whole UK due to data on deaths not being reported by Scotland on Sunday.

NHS hospitals in the West Country are now bracing for an overspill of critically-ill patients from London under emergency plans, with trusts in the capital and the south-east preparing to transfer patients to the south-west.

Patients in the east of England will be moved to the Midlands while the massive Nightingale field hospital at the London Excel Centre is also expected to reopen within a fortnight amid warnings the health service could collapse in the event that ‘very, very tired’ staff are unable to cope with a deluge of cases.

Today's protest came amid calls from Labour leader Keir Starmer to announce a third national lockdown to curb climbing Covid-19 cases

Today’s protest came amid calls from Labour leader Keir Starmer to announce a third national lockdown to curb climbing Covid-19 cases

Parents took children to today's protest in Nottingham, as organisers urged people not to take the potentially-lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine

Parents took children to today’s protest in Nottingham, as organisers urged people not to take the potentially-lifesaving Covid-19 vaccine

Yesterday Britain confirmed it had suffered 4091 Covid-19 deaths in a week, demonstrators held up placards with the figure, adding: 'Let's party'

Yesterday Britain confirmed it had suffered 4091 Covid-19 deaths in a week, demonstrators held up placards with the figure, adding: ‘Let’s party’

Speaking after protests in Nottingham, Keir Starmer called for draconian countermeasures to come into force within 24 hours, condemning the PM for 'hinting' at action while dragging his heels

Speaking after protests in Nottingham, Keir Starmer called for draconian countermeasures to come into force within 24 hours, condemning the PM for ‘hinting’ at action while dragging his heels

People as young as 30 are said to be suffering from coronavirus in intensive care units across the country, it was said today

People as young as 30 are said to be suffering from coronavirus in intensive care units across the country, it was said today

Nottinghamshire Police followed hundreds of protesters through the city centre earlier today

Nottinghamshire Police followed hundreds of protesters through the city centre earlier today 

The crowd blocked the outside of the BBC building in Nottingham today to tell people Covid-19 is a 'hoax'

The crowd blocked the outside of the BBC building in Nottingham today to tell people Covid-19 is a ‘hoax’

Two thirds of England's population is now in Tier 4, with the remainder living in Tier 3 lockdowns. Only the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, is in the looser Tier 2

Two thirds of England’s population is now in Tier 4, with the remainder living in Tier 3 lockdowns. Only the Isles of Scilly, off the coast of Cornwall, is in the looser Tier 2

Dr Alison Pittard, the dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, today claimed that people as young as 30 are suffering from coronavirus in ICU wards and claimed that ‘younger people will die from Covid’. 

The surge in cases and deaths could lead to a third national lockdown as Sir Keir Starmer today demanded a new blanket squeeze to control the virus while Boris Johnson admitted tougher measures are ‘probable’.  

The Labour leader has dramatically called for draconian countermeasures to come into force within 24 hours, condemning the PM for ‘hinting’ at action while dragging his heels. 

Categories
Headline USA New York

NYC woman, 52, is charged after plowing her BMW into crowd of protesters leaving six injured

Woman, 52, who plowed her BMW through crowd of BLM protesters leaving six injured is issued with a desk appearance ticket and released within hours by NYPD

  • Kathleen Casillo accelerated her BMW into a crowd of protesters in Manhattan
  • She was detained a short distance from the scene and issued with a desk appearance ticket by the NYPD, before being released
  • She could face up to a year in prison on reckless endangerment charges
  • Six protesters were left with non life-threatening injuries after being struck by Casillo’s sedan
  • Demonstrators were gathered in support of detainees at New Jersey ICE facility 
  • Casillo says she attempted to flee the scene in fear for her life after demonstrators surrounded her car and began taunting her 
  • She will appear in court next year 

A Queens woman who allegedly plowed her BMW into a crowd of 50 Black Lives Matter protesters in midtown Manhattan was only issued with a desk appearance ticket by NYPD cops and was released within hours.

Six people sustained non life-threatening injuries after Kathleen Casillo accelerated her BMW sedan into the group assembled at East 39th Street and Third Avenue on Friday afternoon.

Casillo, 52, was detained near the scene and taken into custody by officers – but was out within hours after being given a ticket, the New York Post reports.

She faces up to a year in prison after being charged with reckless endangerment, and is set to appear in court on February 22. 

Casillo had her 29-year-old daughter in her car at the time she drove into the protesters who were gathered to support a hunger strike inside an ICE detention center. 

According to TMZ, Casillo says the activists surrounded her car as it slowed along the street, before they began pounding on the pricey vehicle. 

She claims that protesters then began screaming ‘White privilege b***h’, prompting her to fear for her life and flee from the scene. 

Casillo reportedly does not recall hitting anybody as she put her foot down on the accelerator to escape the fracas.  

Six people sustained non life-threatening injuries after Kathleen Casillo (pictured) accelerated her BMW sedan into the group assembled at East 39th Street and Third Avenue on Friday afternoon. She has been charged with reckless endangerment 

Casillo's BMW sedan is seen with its windshield smashed in after she struck several protesters on Friday afternoon

Casillo’s BMW sedan is seen with its windshield smashed in after she struck several protesters on Friday afternoon 

Bikes lie on the ground after a car struck multiple protesters in Manhattan gathered in support of people on hunger strike in an ICE detention center

Bikes lie on the ground after a car struck multiple protesters in Manhattan gathered in support of people on hunger strike in an ICE detention center

An injured protester is seen being loaded into an ambulance following the incident which left six people in hospital

An injured protester is seen being loaded into an ambulance following the incident which left six people in hospital 

A protester holds up their mangled bicycle after they were struck by the vehicle Friday

A protester holds up their mangled bicycle after they were struck by the vehicle Friday 

Most of those injured were transported to Bellevue Hospital for treatment.  

Police also detained and charged another woman at the scene of the protest after she allegedly attempted to interfere with an EMT giving medical aid to one of the injured demonstrators. 

That woman was charged with disorderly conduct and obstruction of governmental administration. 

The group of protesters were holding a demonstration in support of those on hunger strike at an ICE facility in Bergen County, New Jersey.

Multiple people being held in the government facility have gone without food for four weeks now to draw attention to their poor treatment in the facility. 

Some 50 protesters were demonstrating in the area, according to WABC-TV  

Smartphone footage circulated on social media shows dozens of protesters holding banners in the road at the intersection of East 39th Street and Third Avenue.

Around four pedestrians are then seen gathered around the BMW that appears to have slowed to a stop. 

Two demonstrators can be seen banging on the side of the car – appearing to corroborate Casillo’s story.   

Other protesters can be heard screaming as the car then speeds down the street after knocking down pedestrians and a person on a bike.  

Officers gather around Casillo's black BMW after she was taken away for questioning

Officers gather around Casillo’s black BMW after she was taken away for questioning 

Numerous FDNY vehicles, ambulances and police cars were on the scene Friday afternoon as the investigation continued

Numerous FDNY vehicles, ambulances and police cars were on the scene Friday afternoon as the investigation continued

Several ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen at East 39th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan just after 4pm on Friday

Several ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen at East 39th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan just after 4pm on Friday

Dozens of officers and emergency personnel are gathered at the scene of the collision Friday

Dozens of officers and emergency personnel are gathered at the scene of the collision Friday 

Emergency personnel remain on the scene where pedestrians were struck by the car as night falls in the city

Emergency personnel remain on the scene where pedestrians were struck by the car as night falls in the city

According to initial reports from the scene, a motorist plowed into a group of protesters at an intersection

According to initial reports from the scene, a motorist plowed into a group of protesters at an intersection

Categories
Headline USA

Protesters throw eggs and shout insults at South Korea’s most notorious paedophile Cho Doo-soon

Angry protesters threw eggs and shouted insults as one of South Korea’s most notorious child predators was released from prison on Saturday.

Cho Doo-soon, 69, was freed from the jail, in southern Seoul, on Saturday at the end of a 12-year term.

He was strapped with an electronic ankle tag before being escorted to his home in nearby Ansan. 

Authorities have added and upgraded security cameras and vowed around-the-clock monitoring for a man residents still see as a risk to their community.

Cho was convicted of kidnapping and raping an 8-year-old girl in a church bathroom in Ansan in 2008 in a brutal attack that left her with severe, lasting injuries. 

Angry protesters threw eggs and shouted insults as one of South Korea’s most notorious child predators, Cho Doo-soon, was released from prison on Saturday

The case shocked and horrified the nation and prompted an outpouring of public sympathy for the girl, which inspired a 2013 hit movie titled ‘Hope.’

Around a million people since 2017 signed multiple online petitions to the president opposing Cho’s release, which had been dreaded by residents in Ansan for years.

Dozens of protesters, holding signs that read ‘Cho Doo-soon to hell’ and shouting slogans calling for his castration or execution, rallied for hours in front of the prison early Saturday amid a heavy police presence. 

Officers dispersed some protesters who temporarily blocked a pathway to the prison by lying down and locking arms, which appeared to delay Cho’s release by around half an hour.

Demonstrators threw eggs and other objects as a van, carrying Cho and flanked by officers, rolled out of the prison’s gate at around 6:45 a.m.

The gray-haired Cho, wearing a ballcap and a white face mask, later arrived at a probation office in Ansan amid a barrage of camera flashes as officials registered his tracking device. 

Dozens of protesters, holding signs that read 'Cho Doo-soon to hell' and shouting slogans calling for his castration or execution, rallied for hours in front of the prison early Saturday amid a heavy police presence

Dozens of protesters, holding signs that read ‘Cho Doo-soon to hell’ and shouting slogans calling for his castration or execution, rallied for hours in front of the prison early Saturday amid a heavy police presence 

He didn’t answer reporters’ questions on whether he repented but bowed twice before being escorted home.

In a media briefing earlier Saturday, probation officer Ko Jeong-dae said Cho told officials that he ‘committed a crime that would anger both gods and human beings,’ a phrase used to refer to unpardonable atrocity. 

Ko also cited Cho as saying he has reflected on his crime and offered an apology to the victim.

The Justice Ministry had rejected an earlier plea by Ansan’s mayor for Cho to be kept isolated at a ‘protection’ facility once his prison term ended. 

The ministry said it decided to transport Cho in a government vehicle because allowing him to use his own car or public transport could risk ‘physical clashes’ with other citizens. 

Online message boards and social media have been flowing with comments threatening him with punishment.

‘Nearly everyone I know was busy searching the internet to figure out the location of his house and I did too,’ said Lee Do-hyung, a coffee shop employee. 

‘There are talks going around that prison didn’t change him, and that he was still a violent man. 

‘You don’t want that man walking on the streets and couples with parents are particularly concerned.’

Cho was convicted of kidnaping and raping an 8-year-old girl in a church bathroom in Ansan in 2008 in a brutal attack that left her with severe, lasting injuries

Cho was convicted of kidnaping and raping an 8-year-old girl in a church bathroom in Ansan in 2008 in a brutal attack that left her with severe, lasting injuries

J.A. Nah, an office worker in Ansan, said, ‘I think I’ll tremble with fright about encountering him anytime and anywhere if he lives close to me.’

‘I hope he’ll now live as a normal citizen who doesn’t harm others, but I still have fears about him,’ she said.

To ease public anxiety, authorities have recently stepped up patrols and security postures around Cho’s neighborhood.

Ansan’s city government said in a statement that a team of 12 security guards – formerly special forces’ soldiers or martial arts specialists – have been put on shifts patrolling the area around Cho’s house 24 hours a day. 

Officials are also adding 20 more security cameras as well as new streetlights.

Mo Youngshin, a police officer in Ansan, said dozens of officers will be separately patrolling the neighborhood each day. He said police and the Justice Ministry had recently staged a joint training on swiftly mobilizing their staff to respond if Cho commits a crime.

The victim’s family told local media last month they plan to move away from Ansan because of Cho’s return.

The father told TV channel JTBC that his daughter ‘burst into tears’ about Cho’s planned return to Ansan. 

‘It was the first time that happened since she was attacked 12 years ago. We all cried with her,’ said the man, whose name and face weren’t revealed.

Despite widespread concerns, some residents cautiously questioned whether the current level of patrols, public hatred and media frenzy are too much because Cho had completed his sentence.

Ansan’s city government has also recently requested media agencies not to film and interview residents without permission, citing privacy issues and possible negative effects on house prices and child education in the area.  

Categories
Headlines UK Liverpool London Manchester

Coronavirus UK: Protesters hit the streets in London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Brighton 

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother led an anti-lockdown march of 500 people through Manchester today – as demonstrations also erupted in London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Brighton.

Prominent anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn, 73, chanted ‘freedom, freedom’ and said ‘we are at war with vaccinations’ as throngs of mask-free demonstrators watched on.

Crowds cheered as the conspiracy theorist, and older brother of the former-Labour leader, revealed that just days earlier he was found guilty of breaching Covid lockdown rules by attending a similar anti-lockdown gathering in May – but walked away punishment-free.

Corbyn was handed an absolute discharge on December 2 – meaning he will not be fined or face any further punishment – when a judge heard he had spent 12 hours in custody after being arrested for attending a gathering at Speakers’ Corner on May 16.

During the demonstration today, participants clutched signs reading ‘say no to the vaccine’, ‘no gestapo policing’, and ‘this is tyranny’. 

Following today’s march, local councillor Pat Karney, wrote on Twitter: ‘They came from all over the country and marched on Market St. Now being addressed by that fountain of enlightenment Piers Corbyn.

‘Had grown men tell me I will regret it when I am chipped and Bill Gates can kill me. Manchester Council will call out all this dangerous nonsense.’

Meanwhile, anti-lockdown protestors marched through Edinburgh city centre, gathered at London’s Hyde Park, brandished placards in Bristol and walked along the seafront in Brighton this afternoon. 

Jeremy Corbyn’s brother Piers (pictured) led an anti-lockdown march of 500 people through Manchester today – as demonstrations also erupted in London, Bristol, Edinburgh and Brighton

Protestors in Bristol marched through the city centre with a sign reading 'the more we comply, the worst it will get' as they asked others to stand up against 'mandatory lockdowns, masks, vaccines, job losses and business closure'. Anti-lockdown protestors do not believe in the pandemic

Protestors in Bristol marched through the city centre with a sign reading ‘the more we comply, the worst it will get’ as they asked others to stand up against ‘mandatory lockdowns, masks, vaccines, job losses and business closure’. Anti-lockdown protestors do not believe in the pandemic 

The UK Freedom Alliance chanted 'Brexit' and 'Freedom' before the start of a March through London. They help placards reading 'defending your civil liberties' at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park. The group thinks the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax brought on by the Government to control people

The UK Freedom Alliance chanted ‘Brexit’ and ‘Freedom’ before the start of a March through London. They help placards reading ‘defending your civil liberties’ at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park. The group thinks the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax brought on by the Government to control people

Protestors with placards march from the Scottish Parliament to Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group, known as Saving Scotland, said it is 'time to stand up together and fight for the freedom to choose'. One sign claimed the vaccine was 'toxic' on their placard

Protestors with placards march from the Scottish Parliament to Bute House in Edinburgh, Scotland. The group, known as Saving Scotland, said it is ‘time to stand up together and fight for the freedom to choose’. One sign claimed the vaccine was ‘toxic’ on their placard

Supporters of campaign group Save Our Rights UK gathered at the Peace Statue by Hove Lawns in Brighton at 12pm this afternoon. A crowd of hundreds made its way west along the seafront before heading down Queen's Road. A man in a Father Christmas outfit used a megaphone to speak to the crowd

Supporters of campaign group Save Our Rights UK gathered at the Peace Statue by Hove Lawns in Brighton at 12pm this afternoon. A crowd of hundreds made its way west along the seafront before heading down Queen’s Road. A man in a Father Christmas outfit used a megaphone to speak to the crowd

It comes as an initial wave of 67 Tier 3 local authorities have received Government approval for testing schemes to help put them on a path towards relaxing local measures.

Starting at the Scottish Parliament, a group known as Scotland Against Lockdown were asking crowds of shoppers to listen to ‘real’ scientific evidence about the health of the general public during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a man dressed as Father Christmas led a small group of protestors from Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park through central London. The group were covered in the word ‘truth’ and claimed the pandemic was a hoax. 

They questioned why scientists who agree with them are shut out of the media and demanded an end to lockdown restrictions.

In Bristol, demonstrators walked through Broadmead, Corn Street and other parts of the city centre, according to Angus Lancaster, a member of Covid-denying group Stand Up Bristol. 

He told Bristol Live the march was against ‘lockdowns, tiers, restrictions, isolations, masks and vaccines’.

Supporters of campaign group Save Our Rights UK gathered at the Peace Statue by Hove Lawns in Brighton at 12pm this afternoon. A crowd of hundreds made its way west along the seafront before heading down Queen’s Road.

A man in a Father Christmas outfit used a megaphone to speak to the crowd. According to the Brighton Argus, he said: ‘We have woken up. We will no longer be complicit.’ As protestors walked along a busy shopping street they shouted ‘take off your mask’ at anyone they saw wearing a face covering.

Supporters carried signs that said ‘no more lockdowns’ and ‘all we want for Christmas is our freedom back’. 

Led by a man dressed as Father Christmas, a small anti-lockdown protest started at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park with people carrying banners with the word truth on them. They question whether the whole covid pandemic is a hoax and believe the scientists who agree with them are shut out of the media

Led by a man dressed as Father Christmas, a small anti-lockdown protest started at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park with people carrying banners with the word truth on them. They question whether the whole covid pandemic is a hoax and believe the scientists who agree with them are shut out of the media

Police officers on bicycles followed the possession to ensure it remained peaceful as hundreds of people marched through the centre of Bristol to call for an end to lockdowns

Police officers on bicycles followed the possession to ensure it remained peaceful as hundreds of people marched through the centre of Bristol to call for an end to lockdowns

A woman held a sign reading 'I don't blame anyone for wearing masks if I were going along with a plan to destroy freedom and millions of lives I'd hide my face too' during the demonstration in Bristol

A woman held a sign reading ‘I don’t blame anyone for wearing masks if I were going along with a plan to destroy freedom and millions of lives I’d hide my face too’ during the demonstration in Bristol

A close-up of a sign that  read 'I will not stop living to avoid dying. Unmask the truth' during an anti-vaccine protest which started at College Green in Bristol

A close-up of a sign that  read ‘I will not stop living to avoid dying. Unmask the truth’ during an anti-vaccine protest which started at College Green in Bristol

A woman held a sign that read 'World doctors alliance. Scientific and medical whistle blowers' as she joined the protest in Bristol earlier Saturday afternoon

A woman held a sign that read ‘World doctors alliance. Scientific and medical whistle blowers’ as she joined the protest in Bristol earlier Saturday afternoon

A woman holds a sign displaying 'COVID facts' during an anti-vaccine protest which started at College Green in Bristol. Hundreds of people wrapped up against the winter chill to take to the streets

A woman holds a sign displaying ‘COVID facts’ during an anti-vaccine protest which started at College Green in Bristol. Hundreds of people wrapped up against the winter chill to take to the streets

More than 20 police officers, with several force vans and bikes, followed the procession to ensure social distancing requirements were met. 

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: ‘Protests are exempt under The Protection (Cornonavirus Restrictions) Regulations 2020 but only if certain criteria is met by the organiser.’

The criteria includes asking the organisers of protest to carry out a risk assessment and to mediate the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

Photographs showed hundreds of demonstrators defying social distancing measures to crowd together as they labelled the coronavirus pandemic a ‘hoax’.

Meanwhile, as part of the Government’s Covid winter plan, more than 1.6 million rapid turnaround lateral flow tests would be delivered for use this month, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the enhanced testing programmes follow a successful pilot in Liverpool and will be a ‘vital additional tool’ in finding asymptomatic cases.  

Protesters with placards march from the Scottish Parliament to Bute House. Meanwhile, preliminary data released on Friday by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested the rapid coronavirus tests rolled out in Liverpool missed around 51 per cent of all Covid-19 cases

Protesters with placards march from the Scottish Parliament to Bute House. Meanwhile, preliminary data released on Friday by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested the rapid coronavirus tests rolled out in Liverpool missed around 51 per cent of all Covid-19 cases

A man walked with a placard reading 'keep your toxic vaccines' as protestors walked in the rain to complain about strict lockdowns and a vaccine they don't trust

A man walked with a placard reading ‘keep your toxic vaccines’ as protestors walked in the rain to complain about strict lockdowns and a vaccine they don’t trust

A man pumped his fist in the air as a gesture of defiance as protestors ignored social distancing rules to march in Edinburgh earlier this afternoon

A man pumped his fist in the air as a gesture of defiance as protestors ignored social distancing rules to march in Edinburgh earlier this afternoon

A woman in Edinburgh smiled as she held a sign saying 'freedom is for life not just for Christmas', in reference to the relaxation of rules over the Christmas period to allow families to meet up

A woman in Edinburgh smiled as she held a sign saying ‘freedom is for life not just for Christmas’, in reference to the relaxation of rules over the Christmas period to allow families to meet up

Another man pumped his fist in the air during a march in Edinburgh. Police officers surrounded the group to ensure no violence was allowed to break out

Another man pumped his fist in the air during a march in Edinburgh. Police officers surrounded the group to ensure no violence was allowed to break out

A child in Edinburgh held a sign reading 'only the brainwashed haven't checked the ingredients'. It comes after it was revealed disinformation has been spread online regarding the vaccination for coronavirus

A child in Edinburgh held a sign reading ‘only the brainwashed haven’t checked the ingredients’. It comes after it was revealed disinformation has been spread online regarding the vaccination for coronavirus

A woman in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, a paper considered by Sage on November 26 said two days earlier the Liverpool Health Protection Board had decided to pause plans to use the Innova lateral flow test to allow care home visits because they were not accurate enough

A woman in Edinburgh. Meanwhile, a paper considered by Sage on November 26 said two days earlier the Liverpool Health Protection Board had decided to pause plans to use the Innova lateral flow test to allow care home visits because they were not accurate enough

Experts have previously suggested relying on rapid tests that give a result in minutes could mean a high proportion of cases are missed with false negative results. 

Preliminary data released on Friday by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) suggested the rapid coronavirus tests rolled out in Liverpool missed around 51 per cent of all Covid-19 cases.

A paper considered by Sage on November 26 said two days earlier the Liverpool Health Protection Board had decided to pause plans to use the Innova lateral flow test to allow care home visits because they were not accurate enough.

The Government began sending the tests to England’s biggest care homes a week later.

Earlier this month, Dr Susan Hopkins, senior medical adviser to NHS Test and Trace, defended the use of the tests, saying they had helped find Covid-19 infections in people without symptoms that would otherwise have been missed, helping to break chains of transmission.

She said people with a negative test were not being told they did not have the disease.

Dr Hopkins also argued the test would help make planned visits to care homes safer by identifying people who could be carrying high levels of the virus unknowingly and stopping them passing it on.

An evaluation by Oxford University and Public Health England workers at Porton Down previously concluded the test has an overall sensitivity of 76.8 per cent – but it detects almost all cases among patients with a high viral load.

Categories
Headline USA New York

Motorist plows into group of BLM protesters in New York City, injuring at least four

Motorist plows into group of 40-50 Black Lives Matter protesters on the sidewalk in New York City – injuring at least four

  • Motorist plows into BLM protesters near Lexington and East 39th Street 
  • Ambulances and emergency vehicles were called to scene just after 4pm Friday 
  • Police said the driver stayed on the scene after the collision 
  • At least six people were said to be injured. Extent of injuries is unclear 

At least six people were injured when a motorist plowed into a group of some 50 Black Lives Matter protesters who were demonstrating in a New York City intersection on Friday afternoon.

Several ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen at East 39th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan just after 4pm on Friday. The extent of the injuries is not clear. 

Between 40 and 50 protesters were demonstrating nearby, according to WABC-TV.

Several of the protesters are said to have surrounded a car. Moments afterward, the driver of the car drove into the group, injuring at least six people.

The injuries are not considered serious, though several of those hurt were taken to a hospital. 

Video posted to social media shows police arresting one woman who is believed to be the driver of the car. 

Police said the driver stayed on the scene after colliding into the demonstrators. 

Several ambulances and emergency vehicles were seen at East 39th Street and Lexington Avenue in Manhattan just after 4pm on Friday

According to initial reports from the scene, a motorist plowed into a group of protesters at an intersection near Lexington Avenue and 39th Street on Friday just after 4pm

According to initial reports from the scene, a motorist plowed into a group of protesters at an intersection near Lexington Avenue and 39th Street on Friday just after 4pm

The NYPD urged the public to avoid the area of 3rd Avenue & 39th Street in Manhattan ‘due to a vehicle collision involving multiple pedestrians.’

Information at this time is preliminary, updates to follow. 

Categories
California Headline USA Los Angeles Politics

LA Mayor Garcetti’s home is surrounded by cops as Black Lives Matter protesters target him

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s home was surrounded by police yesterday as Black Lives Matter protesters targeted him during the hugely unpopular lockdown imposed in California. 

Violent clashes between officers and protesters broke out on Sunday morning, with one arrest, as nearly two weeks of demonstrations continued. 

Videos from outside Getti House – the Mayor’s official residence – showed LAPD wearing riot helmets using batons on the protesters and knocking many of them to the ground, as people screamed and shouted at the scene. 

The group were seen attempting to protect themselves from the baton swipes, with one using a cooking pan as a shield and another using a water bottle. 

After more than four million LA residents were ordered by Garcetti to stay at home on Wednesday last week, protesters continued to take to the streets outside his home in a bid to ensure President-elect Joe Biden does not appoint Garcetti into his administration.

Police and protesters clashed on Sunday, with officers wearing riot helmets using batons on the crowd which turned out to protest outside LA Mayor Garcetti’s official residence

Footage from the protest showed officers hitting members of the protest with batons and the crowd attempting to shield themselves, with some holding cooking pans and water bottles to lessen the blows

Footage from the protest showed officers hitting members of the protest with batons and the crowd attempting to shield themselves, with some holding cooking pans and water bottles to lessen the blows

The mayor has been rumored to be the pick for Biden’s housing or transportation chief, but protesters argue he has been a failure as mayor and should not get the position. 

The Black Lives Matter LA group, which organized the protests, said: ‘For the past two weeks, we have been holding peaceful gatherings outside Mayor Garcetti’s mansion, urging Joe Biden to commit to keeping our failed mayor out of his administration. 

‘On Day 13, LAPD advanced without warning and violently attacked us.’

An LAPD statement, reported by LAIst, stated they had advanced on the crowd to arrest someone using a bullhorn – suggesting it was a violation of the city code barring ‘sound exceeding 200 feet’. 

‘After multiple warnings, four officers attempted to make an arrest when the crowd moved in on the officers, punching, pushing and kicking.

‘Officers used their baton to prevent the crowd from forcefully attempting to remove the suspect from Police custody. However the suspect ultimately got away.’

Protesters have been leading peaceful protests outside Garcetti's home in LA for around two weeks in an attempt to urge President-elect Joe Biden not to appoint the current LA Mayor into his administration

Protesters have been leading peaceful protests outside Garcetti’s home in LA for around two weeks in an attempt to urge President-elect Joe Biden not to appoint the current LA Mayor into his administration

Police were seen beating people with batons and shoving some to the ground as violence erupted, with many people screaming and shouting

Police were seen beating people with batons and shoving some to the ground as violence erupted, with many people screaming and shouting

Another member of the protest was instead arrested, Jamie Penn, after claims she tried to use force to help the suspect get away from police – something she denies. 

Instead, the street medic claims she was trying to help an elderly man who had been pushed to the floor before the officers rushed on them. 

She was detained and released later that same day.  

Speaking to KTLA, Black Lives Matter La co-founder Melina Abdullah suggested the same, claiming officers ‘ambushed’ the crowd. 

She said before the violent broke out around 45 minutes into the protests, people had been praying and doing breath work together. 

As a result of the recent clashes, she claims two protesters were hospitalized and another had their teeth knocked – but the group are still determined to return to Garcetti’s house today.  

Another BLM organizer named Akili, 72, told Los Angeles Times that the police formed a line on 6th and Irving, blocking the street before moving in ‘scrimmage formation’ against them. 

As violence broke out, the LAPD put out an ‘Officer Needs Help’ call and declared an unlawful assembly. 

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles has organised rallies outside Garcetti's home over the past few weeks, most of which have remained peaceful. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor's residence on November 30

Black Lives Matter Los Angeles has organised rallies outside Garcetti’s home over the past few weeks, most of which have remained peaceful. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor’s residence on November 30

The protesters claim Garcetti should not be part of the new administration, of which he is rumored to be picked for housing or transport chief. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor's residence on November 30

The protesters claim Garcetti should not be part of the new administration, of which he is rumored to be picked for housing or transport chief. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor’s residence on November 30

One officer is said to have possible concussion when his head hit the ground. 

As videos of the violence began to emerge, several politicians have come out to denounce the police’s actions. 

Within a few hours, California State Assemblyman Miguel Santiago wrote: ‘LAPD’s brutal actions this morning are unacceptable and must be denounced by everyone. 

‘I stand with you in denouncing police brutality demanding the immediate release of Jamie! #FREEJAMIE’

In addition, US Congressman Jimmy Gomez said: ‘In regards to @lapd response at Getty House today: Peaceful protestors deserve the space and protections to make their voices heard. 

‘Anything short of that is NOT acceptable. No exceptions. No excuses.’

Assemblywoman Wendy Carillo added: ‘The right to peacefully protest is a First Amendment Right that is sacred. 

During the protest yesterday, one woman was arrest after LAPD officers said she was trying to help someone get away from police custody. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor's residence on November 30

During the protest yesterday, one woman was arrest after LAPD officers said she was trying to help someone get away from police custody. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor’s residence on November 30

Since the violence yesterday, several political figures have spoken out to denounce the actions of the LAPD. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor's residence on November 30

Since the violence yesterday, several political figures have spoken out to denounce the actions of the LAPD. Pictured: Protest outside the mayor’s residence on November 30

‘I urge LAPD to restrain from use of force, practice deescalation tactics and ultimately, protest the public.   

‘Peaceful protests should not lead to police in riot gear making arrest amid Covid-19.’ 

The unpopular lockdown order, which was published on the Mayor’s website last week, applies to the city’s 4 million residents in Los Angeles as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in the area.   

Garcetti’s order, which has a long list of exemptions for residents and businesses, mirrored a directive put in place by Los Angeles County health officials earlier the previous week.  

The city, which is the second-largest city in the country, was told the new move was ‘necessary for the protection of life and property in the City of Los Angeles’.

Garcetti urged residents to ‘cancel everything,’ saying no one should be hosting gatherings or going to gatherings. Those who break the rules may potentially be arrested, he warned. 

It comes as Los Angeles County, which is home to the city and has about 10 million residents total, reported surges in daily cases with 6,000 infections recorded yesterday. 

Garcetti’s order limits nearly all social gatherings of people from more than a single household but exempts religious services and protests protected by the constitution. 

He also directed businesses requiring the presence of workers to close, and set restrictions on travel, but specified a long list of exceptions to both.  

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's order, which has a long list of exemptions for residents and businesses, mirrors a directive put in place by Los Angeles County health officials last week

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s order, which has a long list of exemptions for residents and businesses, mirrors a directive put in place by Los Angeles County health officials last week

According to the order, people need to remain in their homes and avoid travel – including walking, cycling and public transport – except if they need to engage in a number of the exempt activities such as visiting certain businesses and exercise. 

Beaches are to remain open for swimming and exercise, and walking trails can operate during normal business hours. 

The order also calls for business to cease operations if it requires in person attendance but, again, there are exemptions. 

Those businesses that are exempt from the order include healthcare operations, supermarkets and convenience stores, liquor stores, gas stations, banks, hardware stores, handymen services and laundromats, among others.

Retail stores that follow the county’s in-person shopping health protocols are allowed to remain open. Indoor capacity, however, must be limited to 20 percent and be closed between 10pm to 5am.

Personal care establishments such as hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and tanning salons must limit indoor capacity to 20 percent. 

Categories
Headline USA

Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters march on royal barracks wielding rubber ducks


Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand’s royal barracks last night holding inflatable rubber ducks – a symbol used by the peaceful pro-democracy movement to ridicule the police.

Heavily-armoured officers defended by shields and banks of barbed wire kept the demonstrators from getting close to the King’s Guard headquarters in Bangkok on Sunday.

Protesters are demanding curbs on of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s power, including that he renounce his claim on several of the royal army regiments.

The months of demonstrations against the monarchy – once taboo due to a draconian royal defamation law – have reverberated through the ruling political class.

Sunday’s protest – the latest in a series of near-daily turnouts across the capital – was meant to target the 11th Infantry Regiment.

Anti-government protesters march with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King’s Guard regiment in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday night

Riot police stand guard behind barbed wires and inflatable yellow ducks during an anti-government demonstration in the Thai capital

Riot police stand guard behind barbed wires and inflatable yellow ducks during an anti-government demonstration in the Thai capital

Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand's royal barracks last night holding inflatable rubber ducks - a symbol of the peaceful pro-democracy movement

Thousands of protesters marched on Thailand’s royal barracks last night holding inflatable rubber ducks – a symbol of the peaceful pro-democracy movement

Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn wipes sweat from his brow during an outing in Bangkok l;ast week

Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn wipes sweat from his brow during an outing in Bangkok l;ast week

Along with the 1st Infantry Regiment, the two units were placed under King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s direct control last year – a move experts saw as a way for the monarch to assert more authority.

‘These two regiments have been involved in cracking down on people in the past,’ said prominent protest leader Parit ‘Penguin’ Chiwarak.

‘They have also played key roles in past coups.’

The black-clad protesters wore hair clips with yellow rubber ducks, while those on the frontlines donned gas masks and helmets – prepared for any potential skirmishes with authorities.

Two water cannon trucks were parked at the entrance, which was covered with coils of barbed wire. Police in riot gear stood guard outside.

‘The things used against us are bought using our taxes, so they are using our money to hurt us,’ Farng, a 30-year-old graduate student, told AFP, declining to provide her full name.

A protester hurls red paint at riot police stationed outside the royal barracks last night

A protester hurls red paint at riot police stationed outside the royal barracks last night

Hundreds of heavily-armoured officers stand guard outside the royal barracks as inflatable ducks are thrown at their feet

Hundreds of heavily-armoured officers stand guard outside the royal barracks as inflatable ducks are thrown at their feet

Riot police use shields as cover from red paint thrown by protesters during a rally outside the base of the 11th Infantry Regiment,a palace security unit under direct command of the Thai king, in Bangkok

Riot police use shields as cover from red paint thrown by protesters during a rally outside the base of the 11th Infantry Regiment,a palace security unit under direct command of the Thai king, in Bangkok

Anti-riot police officers are deployed behind barbwires during an anti-government street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King's Guard regiment in Bangkok, Thailand, 29 November 2020

Anti-riot police officers are deployed behind barbwires during an anti-government street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King’s Guard regiment in Bangkok, Thailand, 29 November 2020

Anti-government protesters march with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King's Guard regiment in Bangkok

Anti-government protesters march with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King’s Guard regiment in Bangkok

‘As taxpayers, the army should be serving us, not the monarchy,’ she said. ‘Their duty should be to protect the people.’

Protesters folded into paper planes a ‘people’s declaration’ – which called for the regiments to be transferred back – and flew them across the barriers to the stone-faced police.

They also threw red paint at the feet of the police to signify the security forces’ role in violent crackdowns on previous pro-democracy movements, before rallygoers dispersed at about 10pm. 

The military has long positioned itself as a defender of Thailand’s enormously wealthy royal family, who boast assets conservatively estimated to be some $30-$60 billion.

In the name of protecting the king, the army has staged more than a dozen coups since the end of absolute monarchy in 1932.

The most recent was in 2014.

Coup mastermind General Prayut Chan-O-Cha was head of a junta regime before renewing his lease on power in elections last year, which were governed under a military-scripted constitution.

An anti-government protester removes barbed wire during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King's Guard regiment in Bangkok

An anti-government protester removes barbed wire during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King’s Guard regiment in Bangkok

Anti-government protesters remove a bus and barbed wire next to a line of anti-riot police officers during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King's Guard regiment in Bangkok

Anti-government protesters remove a bus and barbed wire next to a line of anti-riot police officers during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform at the 11th Infantry Regiment, the headquarters of the King’s Guard regiment in Bangkok

Anti-government protesters march with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform

Anti-government protesters march with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform

A rubber duck is hurled over the barbed wire towards police officers

A rubber duck is hurled over the barbed wire towards police officers

Besides royal reform, the protesters are also demanding Prayut’s removal as premier and a rewrite of the constitution.

So far scores have been charged with sedition, while at least a dozen prominent leaders were summoned for questioning on royal defamation allegations.

The demonstrations have largely been peaceful since the movement started in July.

But earlier this month, at least six people were shot in a chaotic protest that saw police deploy water cannon and tear gas against the youngsters.

Thai anti-government protesters flash three-finger salutes and shout slogans during a street protest calling for political and monarchical reform in Bangkok

Thai anti-government protesters flash three-finger salutes and shout slogans during a street protest calling for political and monarchical reform in Bangkok

A Thai Buddhist monk (C) joins anti-government protesters marching with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform

A Thai Buddhist monk (C) joins anti-government protesters marching with inflatable rubber ducks during a street protest calling for a political and monarchy reform

It is unclear who opened fire, and officials say they are investigating the incident.

Protesters are undeterred by the step-up in police tactics, with one telling AFP Sunday that the use of force has only galvanised his determination to support the movement.

‘The authorities have their weapons, we only have ducks – it would look bad if they use violence,’ said Peter, 33, declining to give a full name.



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Categories
Headlines UK Liverpool

Anti-lockdown protesters chanting ‘freedom’ clash with police


At least 15 people have today been arrested after anti-lockdown protesters clashed with police when hundreds took to the streets in a fight against coronavirus restrictions.   

Rallies were held in Bournemouth, Basildon and Liverpool this afternoon, where a growing crowd chanted ‘freedom’ as they marched through the city centre in the rain.

The group in Merseyside were shepherded by police, who later moved in to make arrests, with some protesters seen being pepper sprayed as they grappled with officers on the ground.

It is thought that the protest began at 1pm and started with around 100 people gathered on Church Street before the group grew significantly in size.

More than a dozen people were arrested during the demonstration in Liverpool, Merseyside Police confirmed.

Those detained were held on suspicion of breaching public order and Covid-19 rules and the force has implemented a dispersal zone in the city centre until tomorrow.

There were similar scenes on the south coast, with social distancing nowhere to be seen as activists marched through the seaside town of Bournemouth, holding placards reading ‘freedom’ and ‘the pandemic is over’.

It comes as Britain today recorded 391 new hospital deaths in the highest Saturday increase since May – up 21 since last Saturday.

A man is arrested and pepper sprayed at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool today that saw hundreds march around the streets of the city

Police wearing face coverings restrain one of the protesters at the large rally in the rain through Liverpool city centre today

Police wearing face coverings restrain one of the protesters at the large rally in the rain through Liverpool city centre today

A man is arrested by two officers during the demonstration in the drizzle in Liverpool city centre earlier this afternoon

A man is arrested by two officers during the demonstration in the drizzle in Liverpool city centre earlier this afternoon

Police grapple with a protester on the ground as crowds of others watch on during a day of demonstrations in Liverpool

Police grapple with a protester on the ground as crowds of others watch on during a day of demonstrations in Liverpool 

A man comes face to face with a police officer as scenes turned ugly during an anti-lockdown protest in Liverpool today

A man comes face to face with a police officer as scenes turned ugly during an anti-lockdown protest in Liverpool today

A man is arrested and pepper sprayed at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool today that saw hundreds march around the streets of the city

A man is arrested and pepper sprayed at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool today that saw hundreds march around the streets of the city

A man is restrained by police officers during the rally in which people marched through Liverpool shouting 'freedom'

A man is restrained by police officers during the rally in which people marched through Liverpool shouting ‘freedom’

Chief Superintendent Ngaire Waine, of Merseyside Police, said: ‘The vast majority of people in Merseyside have made huge sacrifices since March, missing weddings, funerals and family celebrations in an effort to halt the spread of coronavirus.

‘We have seen infection rates driven down in Merseyside thanks to the commitment of so many people, and already more than 140,000 have taken part in a mass testing pilot here in Merseyside to help the national effort to protect life and get back to normality. They are a credit to this county.

‘So it will be incredibly frustrating for all those people to see that a minority of selfish individuals chose to flout laws brought in to protect the lives of people, putting our communities and themselves at risk.

‘Their actions have posed a significant risk to public health and we will continue to study CCTV and bodycam to identify offenders and bring them to justice.

‘We have arrested 15 people so far and dispersed many more. Our officers – deployed to encourage people to do the right thing and to carry out enforcement to protect the public – have been subjected to mindless abuse from many of those gathered, but continued to carry out their duties with complete professionalism.’

She added: ‘This pandemic has, understandably, left many fearful of contracting and passing on coronavirus. The sight of a large group in the city centre will alarm many who are now well aware of the risk large groups can pose to the spreading of this virus.

It comes as Britain today recorded 391 new hospital deaths in the highest Saturday increase since May - up 21 since last Saturday

It comes as Britain today recorded 391 new hospital deaths in the highest Saturday increase since May – up 21 since last Saturday

Anti-lockdown protester gestures to police officers during the march through the town centre today

Anti-lockdown protester gestures to police officers during the march through the town centre today

In England 316 people who tested positive for coronavirus were confirmed to have died in the past 24 hours, while in Scotland there were 37 deaths and in Wales the toll rose by 28. Pictured: Bournemouth today

In England 316 people who tested positive for coronavirus were confirmed to have died in the past 24 hours, while in Scotland there were 37 deaths and in Wales the toll rose by 28. Pictured: Bournemouth today

Social distancing nowhere to be seen as activists marched through the seaside town of Bournemouth today, holding placards reading 'freedom' and 'the pandemic is over'

Social distancing nowhere to be seen as activists marched through the seaside town of Bournemouth today, holding placards reading ‘freedom’ and ‘the pandemic is over’

An anti-lockdown protester holds up a sign saying 'The Pandemic is Over' during the rally in Bournemouth this afternoon

An anti-lockdown protester holds up a sign saying ‘The Pandemic is Over’ during the rally in Bournemouth this afternoon

An activist holds up a sign saying 'freedom' during the anti-lockdown march in the seaside town of Bournemouth this afternoon

An activist holds up a sign saying ‘freedom’ during the anti-lockdown march in the seaside town of Bournemouth this afternoon 

Social distancing was nowhere to be seen as the group made their way through Bournemouth town centre to take action

Social distancing was nowhere to be seen as the group made their way through Bournemouth town centre to take action

‘We introduced a Section 34 Dispersal Zone in the city centre, and deployed significant resources into the city to ensure we could deal with this gathering, encouraging those involved to disperse and taking enforcement action against those committing flagrant breaches of covid legislation – particularly those suspected to have organised the gathering.

‘Their actions have posed a significant risk to public health, and we will continue to study CCTV and bodycam to identify offenders and bring them to justice.’

In England 316 people who tested positive for coronavirus were confirmed to have died in the past 24 hours, while in Scotland there were 37 deaths and in Wales the toll rose by 28. 

In Northern Ireland a further ten deaths were recorded. 

Meanwhile, it has been suggested quarantine times for contacts of Covid-19 cases could be halved to just a week or eliminated entirely under a pilot testing trial.

Crowds of protesters marched through Bournemouth on a dreary afternoon to oppose the government's Covid restrictions

Crowds of protesters marched through Bournemouth on a dreary afternoon to oppose the government’s Covid restrictions

An anti-lockdown protester is seen in a Guy Fawkes mask as the march in Bournemouth heads through the town centre

An anti-lockdown protester is seen in a Guy Fawkes mask as the march in Bournemouth heads through the town centre

Large numbers of protesters face police at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool today that saw hundreds march around the streets of the city

Large numbers of protesters face police at a large anti lockdown protest in Liverpool today that saw hundreds march around the streets of the city

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters march through the streets of Bournemouth today amid demonstrations across the UK

Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters march through the streets of Bournemouth today amid demonstrations across the UK

Rapid tests which can give results in just 15 minutes will be handed to emergency workers in Liverpool next week, to ensure that if one tests positive the rest of their team will not have to self-isolate.

In today’s figures, patients who died of coronavirus in England were aged between 28 and 102. All except five, aged between 64 and 96, had known underlying health conditions and the deaths occured between June 3 and November 20.

Twenty-two other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result. It means the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 38,112, according to NHS England.  

The total number of deaths was the highest Saturday increase since May 2 when 469 deaths were reported.

Last Saturday, November 14, the death toll increased by 370. It means today’s figure is a rise of 5.7 per cent on last week. On the previous Saturday, November 7, there were 366 fatalities recorded.

It comes as rapid tests will be given to contacts of people infected with the virus who have been stuck at home for more than seven days, with those who get a negative result released from quarantine.

If the mass testing pilot proves successful, it could be rolled out across the whole of the UK. But this isn’t expected to get the green light until next year at the earliest.



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