Police clash with protesters at UK COVID-19 demonstration

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Tower Bridge in London (Photo: Colin / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 4.0)

LONDON (AP) — London police clashed with demonstrators as they broke up a protest in Trafalgar Square against COVID-19 restrictions amid rising tensions over increased limits on everyday life as the government tries to stem a sharp rise in infections.

Officers moved into the iconic square after three hours of speeches in front of thousands of protesters waving placards opposing mandatory vaccinations, face mask requirements and restrictions on civil liberties.

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Police said they intervened because the demonstrators refused to comply with the very social-distancing rules that they were there to protest.

Police tweeted that officers removed sound equipment, bottles were thrown and some officers were injured, without providing further details.

Several people were seen being led away in handcuffs.