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Home > Uncategorised > UK: Anti-Monarchy Protesters Make Their Voices Heard, Are Arrested

UK: Anti-Monarchy Protesters Make Their Voices Heard, Are Arrested

We need a fierce new republicanism, not the twee deference of liberal anti-monarchism

Saturday 17 September 2022, by siawi3


Anti-Monarchy Protesters Make Their Voices Heard, Are Arrested

By Eliza Egret

September 13, 2022

: MSN / ITN.

If you read the mainstream media, you’d be forgiven for thinking the whole of Scotland is in mourning as Queen Elizabeth’s coffin arrives in Edinburgh. Thousands are lining the streets to pay their respects to the former ruler.

However, less covered in the media are the thousands who feel disgust at a monarchy that epitomises colonialism, oppression and racism. There were protests in both Edinburgh and Cardiff as Charles Windsor was proclaimed King Charles III.

In Cardiff, people held up signs in Welsh and English saying “It’s colonial subjugation of the Welsh people”, and “Not our King”. Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, a 22-year-old woman was arrested for breach of the peace as she held up a banner which read “Fuck imperialism, abolish monarchy”. Police Scotland wanted to emphasise to The Canary that the woman wasn’t arrested for the banner itself. Presumably, then, the police arrested her because they only allow freedom to protest when it doesn’t offend the majority.

As the Queen’s coffin was being driven through the streets of Edinburgh, police also arrested a 22-year-old man after he heckled the disgraced Andrew Windsor. Once again, the arrest was made under breach of the peace laws.
Arrested For ‘Expressing An Opinion’

In England, activist Symon Hill was also arrested in Oxford for his part in protesting the proclamation of King Charles. Hill gave his account of the ludicrous arrest in Bright Green. He said:

It was only when they declared Charles to be ‘King Charles III’ that I called out ‘Who elected him?’ I doubt most of the people in the crowd even heard me. Two or three people near me told me to shut up. I didn’t insult them or attack them personally, but responded by saying that a head of state was being imposed on us without our consent.

Security guards then attempted to push Hill before the police came and took hold of him themselves. Hill continued:

I was outraged that they were leading me away, but was taken aback when they told me they were arresting me. I have no illusions about the police’s questionable relationship with the law, but I seemed to have been arrested for nothing more than expressing an opinion in public.

Thames Valley Police confirmed to The Canary that they had arrested a man for the offence of harassment, alarm or distress. The force said:

A 45-year-old man was arrested in connection with a disturbance that was caused during the county proclamation ceremony of King Charles III in Oxford. He has subsequently been de-arrested and is engaging with us voluntarily as we investigate a public order offence.

The Police Always Target Anti-Monarchists

Of course, anti-monarchy protests aren’t unusual, and nor are arrests surrounding them. In fact, members of the public are often pre-emptively targeted by the police before a royal event even happens. This is, perhaps, unsurprising given that the monarchy is an important tool to brainwash people into believing that Britain is actually great – that we are all united rather than divided. It upholds the false narrative that we’re all British together, and the police are all too quick to silence prospective dissenters.

Perhaps the best example of pre-emptive arrests was during the lead-up to William and Kate’s wedding back in 2011. Five squats across London were raided, and the police made twenty arrests. Others were also arrested as they sipped coffee. Their crime? Supposedly that they would carry out some kind of breach of the peace.

The Canary contacted the Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) for comment. Speaking about the latest arrests, Kevin Blowe said:

This isn’t the first time that spurious arrests have been made during royal events. In 2011, people dressed as zombies were arrested during the royal wedding while sitting in Starbucks. In 2002, during the Golden Jubilee, 41 people sitting in a pub were arrested. Any time there is a royal event, the police act disproportionately to ensure that opposing voices are not heard on the streets.

The Police Won’t Shut Down Dissenters

The police should know by now that pre-emptive arrests will never totally prevent dissent. One example of this was when Charles and Camilla’s car was surrounded and targeted by protesters in 2010, as the couple drove into London’s infamous student protests. The demonstrations saw thousands on the streets as they protested the trebling of tuition fees.

The royals were so out of touch with the public that they thought nothing of driving a Rolls Royce, flashing their obscene wealth, into the centre of the city at a time when young people’s futures were being destroyed in the name of profit. People were, understandably, outraged.

Of course, as we gear up for the Queen’s funeral, the majority of the public prefer to believe the narrative that we’re all British together, mourning an old woman that they didn’t know, rather than facing up to the legacy of colonial oppression for which she stood. However, there’s a growing number of people who have had enough of idolising racist oppressors, and who will continue to make their voices heard.




We need a fierce new republicanism, not the twee deference of liberal anti-monarchism

Joe Glenton

16th September 2022

The queen was good at what she did; slick even. Her public faux pas were few, or not widely grasped enough to have wide impact.

King Charles III has no such reputation. He’s already sacked his staff and made several brattish clangers on video. He helped make a hero of his late wife Diana through his and his family’s antics, and his Jeffrey Epstein-linked brother Andrew will automatically deputise for the king in case of emergencies. On top of this, Charles has been for many years an ambassador for the British arms industry.

He must not have an easy ride, at least not nearly as easy as his life during his 73-year apprenticeship. The truth is, the king has to go, and so does the institution of monarchy. And no amount of monarchist (or republican) moralism about timing, or respect, or most laughably their ‘service’, should stop us saying it. Anything which inspires the bizarre queue – a sort of idiot ‘Human Respectipede’ – currently winding its way through London’s streets needs to go in the bin.

Immoral or ignorant?

That said, republicanism in mainland Britain is in a shocking state – despite a decent amount of support for it. Up to a quarter of Brits want an elected head of state – this goes up to 40% among young people. Meanwhile, 36% of Scottish people say the end of the queen’s reign should usher in a republic. These are sizeable minorities which are given few platforms in the mainstream media or public narrative.

And they are right to oppose it. The monarchy is a ridiculous and oppressive institution built on violence. There is no nuance to be had here: if you are a monarchist, or waver and drip over the question of monarchy (in which case, you may well be a monarchist), you are either immoral or ignorant.

If you can see the monarchy for what it is and don’t care, you’re clearly immoral. If you refuse to stop being spoon-fed lies about the British empire, you’re purposely ignorant. At least the latter category might be redeemable through education, but not with things as they are.

The only specific organisation which speaks to this grand old strain of UK politics is Republic. Liberal, reformist, and flaky, its first call upon the death of the queen was instructive: let’s hold fire on debate until a more appropriate time:

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Anti-monarchist arrests only bolster the argument for a republic

This should not shock. It is a feature of liberal republicanism that it is almost as twee and deferent as monarchism itself, and about as likely to seriously oppose the Royal institution. And this is nowhere more apparent than in the main organisation meant to oppose the Royal racket.
Left republicanism

There isn’t really a question about whether we need to get rid of the monarchy. It’s about how we oppose it in an invigorated and non-deferent way.

The questions of land ownership, foreign policy, democracy, landlordism, equality, climate change, and more run smack bang through the middle of the monarchy – the ridiculous medieval core of what purports to be a modern state. That is not to say its ideal replacement is a president. No capitalist state can ever be good enough. But a fierce new republicanism can start to address and oppose our own unique, and uniquely perverse, systems of power.

Republicanism, rather like free speech, is simply too important to be left to flaky liberals and self-assured Tories. It must become a key part of any strategy to increase working class power and confidence.

The question now is what that looks like.