Republican Protesters Arrested at King Charles Proclamations | UK news

Two demonstrators who expressed republican sentiments were arrested at events proclaiming the accession to the throne of King Charles III.

One man said he was arrested for shouting: “Who elected him?” when the proclamation was read at Oxford.

Simon Hill, 45, said he came across the incident by chance on his way home from church. The history teacher said that after he shouted the words, he was told by those close to him to “get out” and he responded by saying: “A head of state was imposed on us without our consent.”

Three security guards approached him before police intervened, he said. Hill said he was taken into a police van, despite protests from others, who defended his right to free speech.

Hill said he had been arrested before for participating in a nonviolent protest against the gun trade, but that he was not surprised, despite believing his actions were justified.

Instead, referring to his latest arrest, he said: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone get arrested for such trivial reasons, let alone experienced it myself.

“I did not interrupt the ceremony in any way. I just shouted something that a few people near me would have heard and then they continued the ceremony as well [the police] with a collar. I find it really disturbing that you can be arrested for speaking out in public. I feel quite overwhelmed.”

After tweeting about the incident, Republic, which is attempting to replace the monarchy with an elected head of state, wrote: “This is outrageous.”

A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: “A 45-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a disturbance caused at the King Charles III County Proclamation ceremony in Oxford.

“He has since withdrawn and is voluntarily co-operating with us as we investigate a public order offence. The man was arrested on suspicion of violating public order [under section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986].”

Section 5 applies to conduct considered likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

In Edinburgh, a woman holding a sign reading “Fuck Imperialism, Abolish the Monarchy” was arrested moments before the proclamation was read. The incident took place outside St Giles’ Cathedral, where the Queen’s coffin is due to lie in state on Monday.

A police spokesman said a 22-year-old woman had been arrested in connection with a breach of the peace. Some people were heard booing the King during the event in Edinburgh.

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