[Continued from Part I yesterday, which can be read here.]
It was a surprise to the thousands gathering, that there was an abrupt halt to the speaking. The star speaker, Dr Heiko Schoening, representing the views of numerous doctors in Germany, and who only a few weeks ago had addressed a million people in his home country, was prevented from speaking by the police. This happened because, without warning, the police suddenly invaded the platform area housing the speaking units and effectively shut Dr. Schoening down.
The organisers of the event had gone out of their way to be co-operative with the police, even having a minute’s silence for the police officer who was sadly stabbed to death in an unrelated incident in a police station a few days ago. It is possible that there was a false sense of security, as in retrospect there should have been more security personnel protecting the speakers from the police, but those there did their best. The previous rally, with different organisers, had a number of military veterans, who were more effective in defending the equipment.
My own thoughts were that the one speaker who the lockdown proponents did not want to be heard was Dr Schoening, as he had the most medical evidence to be made public. He was determined to speak, as he had travelled to the UK to do so, and when the crowd were dispersed, many going to Hyde Park, he went there intending to speak. I walked there with him, and at one point it looked as though he would be able to give his speech. For no reason at all, when he was halfway through it, the police invaded the small gathering of a couple of hundred people, took the equipment away and arrested him.
I have to confess that I was deeply shocked at what happened. It seemed entirely political to me. Some people tried to passively prevent the police taking him away but they were swept aside. I did help a lady solicitor to get through police lines to try and represent him. At the time of writing all I know is that he was held at Wandsworth Police station for 22 hours and on Monday was on a flight back to Germany.
The actions of the police had seen a large rally at Trafalgar Square dispersed at no notice. Because the speakers were shut down, no message could be given to those attending as to what to do and where to go. Individual stewards with loudspeakers did their best, but it ended up with many going home, some attempting to go to Downing Street and Buckingham Palace and the bulk going to Hyde Park (which was about half an hour’s walk away).
Even before Dr. Schoening tried speaking at Hyde Park, numerous protestors had been dispersed by the police using mounted police and police in riot gear. It was said that the one of the police units used at Trafalgar Square was a special tactical unit more fitting for riot situations, hardly appropriate for a blatantly obvious peaceful rally.
One other point which I found disturbing was senior police officers instructing their police officers to not talk to the protestors. This was most sinister because for other demonstrations, such as Black Lives Matter, police officers were encouraged to speak with protesters. So it is a case of if you are protesting against the government’s lockdown measures, it is not allowed, but if it is a protest the government does not object to, them it is. Complete double standards on political protest now, which is unacceptable in the now unfree society we are governed under. However, in smaller groups, some protesters did manage to speak with police officers, who after all, have to obey orders, and many may actually not support this lockdown government at all. They know they are being used as nothing more than political police.
The big question is why did the police receive instructions to shut the main speaker down? The afternoon had been one of entirely peaceful protest. In fact so much so that the messages of peace and love both verbally and on placards was obvious to those present.
The reputation of the police and the government was entirely tarnished by this action against free speech. It was unnecessary and pointless. The police action resulted in the protesters being treated appallingly with many being injured. If the rally had been allowed to finish and this one very important speaker allowed to deliver his message, then it would have been a successful day for all concerned, both attendees and the police. Free speech would have been protected.
Going by the reports I have had from others in the journalistic field, it appears that this action by the police could have been planned all along, to stop Dr. Schoening from speaking, but why? As for arresting him in Hyde Park, what possible motivation could there be for that? Most of the media had gone and only about two hundred at the most were left to hear his speech.
All this could have been avoided, so it is to be hoped there will be many complaints to the Police Complaints Authority and many questions asked. We cannot, if we want to be a free society, allow this sort of situation to occur again.