Police arrest anti-monarchy protesters ahead of King Charles’ coronation
Police, on Saturday, May 6, arrested the leading members of the anti-monarchy group Republic as they prepared to protest along the route of a procession for the coronation of King Charles III in the United Kingdom.
Officers from London’s Metropolitan Police Force detained six organisers from the pressure group and seized hundreds of their placards, just hours before Charles’s crowning.
Republic chief executive, Graham Smith, was one of those held before the group had a chance to wave placards declaring “Not my king”.
Some onlookers nearby shouted “free Graham Smith” but others shouted “God save the king” and waved UK flags.
“They won’t tell us why they’ve arrested them or where they’re being held,” a Republic activist told AFP in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The detentions prompted immediate criticism from Human Rights Watch, which called the arrests “incredibly alarming”.
“This is something you would expect to see in Moscow, not London,” the rights organisation’s UK Director, Yasmine Ahmed, said in a statement.
“Peaceful protests allow individuals to hold those in power to account – something the UK government seems increasingly averse to.”
The arrests come just days after UK police forces were controversially granted new anti-protest powers by the government under a new law rushed through this week.
A camera crew from the group Alliance of European Republican Movements was at the scene and asked a senior police officer why the group had been detained.
“They’re under arrest. End of,” the officer told them, walking off, according to footage posted by the group on Twitter.
On its Twitter feed, Republic confirmed the arrests and seizure of placards. “Is this democracy?” it asked.
Smith told reporters last week: “We certainly have no plans to disrupt the actual procession.”
Waving placards and shouting would show “in front of the world’s press that we are not a country of loyalists, that there is a growing opposition”, the Republic founder said.
The new police powers law was enacted after months of disruptive tactics around Britain by groups opposed to fossil fuels. It entails stiffer jail terms against activists gluing and padlocking themselves to immovable objects.
Separately Saturday, at least 19 members of Just Stop Oil were arrested in central London, the group – which stages disruptive demonstrations – said in a statement.
An AFP reporter saw numerous activists being handcuffed by police on The Mall, the processional route from Buckingham Palace to Trafalgar Square.
“Their intention was only to display T-shirts and flags. This is a massive authoritarian overreach,” Just Stop Oil said.
“While everyone is focused on a billionaire in a shiny hat, the government is signing off on plans to destroy the lives of millions of ordinary people, while enacting laws to ensure that no one can stop them.”
The Metropolitan Police tweeted that officers had made “a number of arrests” as part of its “significant police operation” in central London.
It said four people were held at the scene of the detentions of Republic’s activists “on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance”.
Subsidy: Petrol hits N1,200 Per Litre in Ebonyi
Petrol now sells for N1,200 a litre in Ebonyi state, according to a report by NAN. The shocking change came after President Bola Tinubu announced the removal of fuel subsidy. Resident of Abakaliki in Ebonyi state were forced to buy petrol at a staggering N1,200 on Tuesday, according to the report. Scores of residents, who decried the high cost of petrol in the country, said they have since been engaged in panic buying. Some residents were also seen with their cans as many filling stations were under lock. A resident, Darlington Okeke, said panic buying was occasioned by Tinubu’s statement during his inauguration on Monday. Okeke stated that petrol in filling stations was sold between N800 and N1,200, against N230 per litre. Another resident, Ibrahim Ali, said black marketers sold a litre of fuel for N1,500, adding that the development was causing panic buying and frustration among residents. He, however, appealed to Tinubu to address the situation to mitigate panic buying and arbitrary hoarding of the products, which marketers introduced after the announcement by the president. Meanwhile, staff of some filling stations, who spoke under condition of anonymity, disclosed that the management of the Petroleum Dealers Association, Ebonyi State chapter, ordered the closure of fuel stations. “We are waiting for further directives,” they told NAN. Efforts to speak with the state chairman of the association, Sailas Njaka, on the development were not successful.
Troops eliminate ISWAP top commanders, 55 terrorists in Borno
At least 55 Islamic State–West Africa Province terrorists have been eliminated by Nigerian troops. Those killed included top commanders of the terrorist group. The mission was carried out by the Multinational Joint Task Force in Arege, Malam Fatori, Abadam Local Government Area of Borno State. The Niger Ministry of Defence said that it conducted a 22-day operation tagged Operation HARBIN ZUMA, targeting ISWAP strongholds. The operation, it said, was coordinated by troops of Sector 3 and Sector 4 of the MNJTF. The operation started on May 6, 2023, and ended on Sunday, May 28. According to its report, several top ISWAP commanders, including Fiya Abouzeid, Qaïd Abou Oumama, and Qaïd Malam Moustapha, as well as some religious leaders whose identities are unknown, were killed during the 22-day Operation HARBIN ZUMA. The Niger-Nigerian Air Task Force and land forces worked together to locate the enemy and cause significant damage. The troops destroyed 13 vehicles, 13 motorcycles and five Vehicles Borne Improvised Explosive Devices. Two soldiers from Nigérienne Sector 4 MNJTF were killed, three were slightly wounded, and one phantom Mrap was damaged during the operation. However, The Niger Ministry did not disclose any casualties on the Nigerian side. The main aim of Operation HARBIN ZUMA was to neutralise terrorists in their stronghold in Aregé, Nigeria. The operation also aimed to maintain pressure on the Islamic State in West Africa and eliminate any presence of armed terrorist groups in the BOSSO, BAGA, GOUDOUMBALI, and GASHIGAR areas. The operation also planned to cut off all supply routes for armed terrorist groups and reduce the threat in the region.
I pray Atiku succeeds in Nullifying Tinubu’s victory – Omokri
A former presidential aide, Reno Omokri has asked God to help Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party to nullify President Bola Tinubu’s victory. Omokri took to social media to pray to God. The staunch Atiku’s ally applauded Tinubu for his bold statement on subsidy removal, meeting the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mele Kyari, same day he assumed office. Tweeting, Omokri said unlike the immediate last president, Muhammadu Buhari, Tinubu started work immediately he assumed office. According to Omokri: “Making a bold statement on subsidy removal and backing it up with action. Meeting Godwin Emefiele, then Mele Kyari.“Making a string of appointments. Asserting his authority over the DSS in their face-off with the EFCC.“Tinubu, unlike Buhari, has hit the ground running. I sincerely pray that our petition will succeed and President Tinubu’s election will be nullified.“But be that as it may, I must commend the actions of his first 24 hours in office.”
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