Boris Johnson accused of ‘stoking division and fear’
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson who recently recuperate from coronavirus has been accused of “stoking division and fear” after he claimed the Black Lives Matter protests had been “hijacked by extremists intent on violence”.
Critics suggested the Boris Johnson was seeking a “culture war” to distract from his handling of the pandemic of coronavirus after he deliberately rejected calls to remove statues of historic figures with links to slavery and racism.
He urged people to stay away from planned demonstrations this weekend, claiming they would “end in deliberate and calculated violence”.
Boris Johnson accused of ‘stoking division and fear’, His comments came before a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest on Friday night which saw hundreds march from London’s Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square.
Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrats home affairs spokesperson said
“the Black Lives Matter protests following the brutal killing of the African American,George Floyd, by a police officer have been overwhelmingly peaceful. The prime minister is stoking division and fear in our communities by suggesting they have been hijacked by extremists.”
“People deserve better.” She included.
In a tweet Labour MP Angela Eagle suggested that Mr Johnson “wants the culture war to distract from his appalling performance in the pandemic of coronavirus “.
Downing Street has been approached for comment.
back up here in trafalgar square a group of a hundred or so demonstrators remain, dancing to music as the rain closes in pic.twitter.com/D6nIXIWFc5
— huck (@HUCKmagazine) June 12, 2020
On Friday, PM Johnson issued a series of tweets addressing the boarding up of a Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square ahead of expected demonstrations this week. Graffiti calling the wartime Conservative Prime Minister “a racist” was scrawled on the statue during a protest earlier last week.
Mr Johnson in a statement “you should not have a state in which people, who are demonstrating on one basis, are attacking the police or public property violently.”
“I’m afraid what has happened with these demonstrations is that a tiny minority – actually it is a growing minority, unfortunately – have hijacked them and they are using them as a pretext to attack the police, to cause damage and to cause violence to public property.
“So unfortunately, for all sorts of reasons, they should not go to these demonstrations.”
“We want the protests to be a safe space for people to attend however we don’t think it’ll be possible with people like them present.” The group said on Instagram, moving the Hyde Park rally to Friday.
Black Lives Matter has called off a protest which had been planned for Saturday amid concerns over right-wing groups calling supporters to travel to the capital to defend monuments.
Leaders of Friday evening’s march told others involved to make their protest “violence free” and to not join any anti-racism rallies planned for the weekend, fearing violence would hinder cause.
City of London Police has said they have apprehended two men during the rally wanted for unrelated matters.
Demonstrations against racism and police violence are expected to take place on Saturday, in other UK cities, including Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Demonstrators were urged to “stay calm” if they confront any counter-rallies as they marched to Trafalgar Square, where a video footage posted on social media showed them dancing and singing to music.
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