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UK police arrest more than 100 protesters after violent London clashes

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

British police say they have arrested more than 100 people after protesters, including far-right activists, clashed with officers in London.

British police say they have arrested more than 100 people after protesters, including far-right activists, clashed with officers in London.

Hundreds of right-wing activists turned out for demonstrations on Saturday in London, with many saying they wanted to "protect" monuments and statues targeted recently by anti-racism protesters for links to slavery and British colonialism.

The protests, which were attended by far-right groups including Britain First, turned violent when some counter-protesters scuffled with riot police and others hurled bottles, flares and smoke grenades at officers. Six police officers suffered minor injuries.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the violence, saying "racist thuggery has no place on our streets."

An official Black Lives Matter protest, originally planned for Saturday, had been called off over fears of conflict with right-wing activists. Some anti-racism protesters demonstrated, mostly peacefully, in separate locations.

Police said a 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of outraging public decency after a protester was pictured apparently urinating on a London memorial dedicated to Keith Palmer, a policeman stabbed to death in a 2017 terror attack.

Meanwhile, French police officers have held a small overnight protest at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris amid police anger over what they say are unfair accusations of racism and brutality.

In images broadcast on French media and shared on social networks, a few dozen officers laid their handcuffs on the ground and surrounded the landmark with patrol cars, blue lights flashing to call attention to their cause. Police unions in France held similar protests last week.

The Arc de Triomphe action came hours after at least 15,000 people demonstrated across town against racial injustice and police violence targeting minorities.

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The protest was among many in France in recent weeks inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and George Floyd's death in the US.

In response to those protests, the French government on Monday banned police chokeholds and promised new efforts to root out racism in police ranks.

Police unions have pushed back, saying they need tools to apprehend unruly suspects and that painting the force as systemically racist risks worsening tensions in ethnically diverse neighborhoods.

They also say they feel abandoned by the government they defended against 'violent' yellow vest protesters.

The Arc de Triomphe was a flashpoint for tensions between police and protesters during the yellow vest anti-government movement for economic justice in 2018-2019.

Source: 9News

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