Julia Hartley-Brewer: Protest in midst of pandemic ‘defies belief’

Thursday, June 4, 2020

talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer has criticised the thousands of protesters who marched through London yesterday for not obeying social distancing rules.

She said that it “defies belief” that a mass protest would take place during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Yes, people feel strongly about this, I feel strongly about this, it’s a horrible crime.

“But feeling strongly about something doesn’t entitle you to break the law. Feeling strongly about something doesn’t entitle you to put other people’s lives at risk,” she told listeners.

Current government guidelines prohibit the meetings of more than six people outside, and when groups do meet they must maintain a two-metre distance.

One of the event organsiers, Naomi Smith, has defended the need to protest, saying: “We want people to understand that people are dying from coronavirus and people are dying from racism.”

Boris Johnson said yesterday that people had the right to protest but said they should do so in accordance with social distancing rules.

As well as peaceful and socially-distanced chants of “black lives matter” and “we will not be silenced” in Hyde Park, tensions escalated outside Downing Street where protesters can be seen clashing with officers.

The Metropolitan Police said 13 people were arrested during the protests.

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