Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters are marching through central London this afternoon (June 26) carrying placards and flags.

Drums, whistling and chanting can be heard for some distance around, with people young and old taking part.

Shirley Jones, a librarian from Crystal Palace out on the march, said: “I’d rather be doing something else with my weekend but I’m going to keep coming on these protests because I don’t trust what the Government is doing.

“I don’t believe in wearing masks and I don’t believe in the vaccine, especially given my Caribbean heritage and the history of slavery.

“There’s a huge mix of people here, all backgrounds and ages, yet what they’re saying is being ignored. The numbers who attend are always undermined.

Wimbledon Times:

“We want the lockdown to end but we also want Boris Johnson to sack the philandering and rule breaking. He’s behind all of these rules and he didn’t even follow them himself.”

One speaker stood on a plinth near Embankment Station and told crowds: “We are here to take our freedom back.”

There was a party atmosphere as the crowds headed down the Embankment past New Scotland Yard.

But tennis balls in their dozens were then thrown over the fence into the grounds of Parliament.

Wimbledon Times:

Asked why protesters are throwing tennis balls, one man, who did not wish to be named, said: “They have little messages on them. Most of them are not very nice.”

At around 3.30pm, protesters arrived outside Downing Street, where flares have been set off amid loud chanting, whistling and music.

People have been shouting “Shame on you” and pointing towards Number 10, followed by prolonged booing.

Participant Iain McCausland travelled to London from Devon to attend the rally. He said: “The main reason I’m here is because I feel this lockdown has come at the cost of our liberty and rights.

Wimbledon Times:

“Our freedom to assemble, our freedom to travel, and work. I’m really quite angry with the Government, so are everyone here.”

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