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Heavy police presence in London for protests and Champions League final

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More than 2,000 police officers were on duty across London today to monitor fan events ahead of the Champions League final at Wembley. They have also been at several protests.

Met Police officers were keeping an eye on Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid supporters ahead of the 8pm kick off.

Earlier, there was a demonstration led by far-right activist Tommy Robinson at Parliament Square – while Stand Up To Racism led a counter-protest on Whitehall.

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Scenes from Tommy Robinson’s march on Saturday. Pic: PA

People take part in a protest march through London, organised by Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon. Groups from across the UK linked to football disorder are expected to attend the event the Metropolitan Police said. Picture date: Saturday June 1, 2024.
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Pic: PA

Robinson – real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon – said he was protesting against alleged “two-tier policing”, while Stand Up To Racism said it was campaigning against what it deemed to be “racism and Islamophobia”.

Scotland Yard said it had identified individuals in the crowd at Robinson’s protest who “have a history of being involved in violent disorder”.

In an update on X on Saturday afternoon, the force added: “A number have football banning orders and are associated with hooligan groups from London and across the UK.

“There is also an element of the crowd previously well known for involvement in anti-lockdown protests during the pandemic and associated disorder.

“A number of people in the crowd are intoxicated.”

In a later update, the Met said it had made two arrests “in the vicinity of Parliament Square”.

It added: “One arrest was for drunk and disorderly and assaulting an emergency worker.

“The other relates to an incident where a woman was subjected to racial abuse. We await confirmation of the exact offence.”

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Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, speaks during a protest march at Parliament Square in London. Groups from across the UK linked to football disorder are expected to attend the event the Metropolitan Police said. Picture date: Saturday June 1, 2024. PA Photo. A static counter-protest, organised by Stand Up To Racism, will take place in Whitehall from midday. See PA story POLICE Protest. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire
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Tommy Robinson addresses the crowd at Parliament Square. Pic: PA

Tommy Robinson (centre), whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, leads a protest march through London to Parliament Square where speeches will take place and a film will be shown. Groups from across the UK linked to football disorder are expected to attend the event the Metropolitan Police said. Picture date: Saturday June 1, 2024.
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Robinson among protesters. Pic: PA

People take part in a protest march through London to Parliament Square, organised by Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon. Groups from across the UK linked to football disorder are expected to attend the event the Metropolitan Police said. Picture date: Saturday June 1, 2024.
Image:
Pic: PA

The Met also said a number of people at a smaller protest in Waterloo had been arrested after attempting to block traffic. Youth Demand protesters were demonstrating against Israel’s ongoing offensive in Gaza.

Scotland Yard said its officers’ presence would continue into the evening, when Europe’s biggest club competition reaches its conclusion.

Fans on Olympic Way ahead of the Champions League final. Pic: Lucy North/PA
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Fans on Olympic Way ahead of the Champions League final. Pic: Lucy North/PA

T/Commander Louise Puddefoot, who is leading this weekend’s policing operation, said: “We want fans visiting London for this fantastic event to have a safe and enjoyable experience.

“There will be a visible police and stewarding presence not just around Wembley but at fan zones and other events.

“Anyone who sees anything suspicious or who has concerns about safety or security should speak to an officer or a member of the stewarding team.”

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