Julia Hartley Brewer: Why I'm really scared at the reaction to Republic protest arrests

Julia Hartley Brewer gives her verdict on the King's coronation protests

TalkTV's Julia Hartley-Brewer gives her verdict on the arrest of peaceful, anti-monarchy protestors at the King's coronation.

Whether you are a staunch monarchist or a staunch republican, it does not matter which side of the debate you are on; you should be on the side as lawful, legal, peaceful protest.

It stuns me that so many people in this country are defending the Metropolitan Police, even though they now admit what they call 'regret' for arresting six members of Republic, the anti-monarchy group.

They arrested them on Saturday morning, many hours before the coronation, when they were simply unloading their signs and placards, ready to go to their peaceful, lawful protest that had been pre-agreed with police.

They weren't planning to disrupt the coronation, they weren't planning to run in front of the horses, they weren't planning to disrupt proceedings by shouting with megaphones, or setting off rape alarms to distract horses.

They simply wanted to make their personal views known in our democracy. If you want a King, if you want a constitutional monarchy for our democracy, one of the things that King should be there to protect is our right to protest.

To peacefully, legally protest a political event. The coronation of our monarch is a political event. Anyone who is not defending that, I'm afraid, is not a democrat.

Questions need to be asked, and answers need to be given by the Metropolitan Police, and by Home Secretary Suella Braverman. If she and Rishi Sunak have backed the police on their decision to make those arrests, they are in the wrong.

Legal action is probably going to be brought against the police for those illegal arrests. There are no grounds whatsoever for arresting peaceful protesters

There is no doubt we need to hear from the Met Police and we need to hear from the Government about why they think our fundamental right to peaceful protest no longer exists.

The police had agreed up until Friday afternoon that this event could take place, they knew exactly who was involved and what they planned.

The police are conflating this with eco-protesters, who did intend disrupting the event. That was very different, an illegal protest compared to what the anti-monarchy group was prepared to do.

To those saying 'why would they have to protest on this day?' If you are opposed to the monarchy, as this group is, what other day would you protest, other than the day of the coronation?

I am really really scared of how many people in this country think that everyone has a right to protest if it is something they agree with, but not if they don’t.

What if you wanted to go and protest? Under these new laws that you are supporting, you wouldn't be able to do that. Would that be right? Of course not.

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