Anti-Monarchist Sues Police over Arrest; Claims King’s Indifference

  • Insider spoke to Graham Smith, chief of anti-monarchy group Republic, at a protest in Scotland.
  • On the king’s coronation in Could, Smith was arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace.
  • Smith advised Insider he’s suing the police over its dealing with of the coronation protests.

Graham Smith is set. 

The anti-monarchist is in the course of a protest at King Charles’ coronation celebrations in Edinburgh, Scotland, once we meet on Wednesday. Charles’ official coronation was held in London in Could, however the king was offered with the Honours of Scotland — the Scottish crown jewels — in a ceremony at St Giles’ Cathedral on July 5.

On the protest outdoors the cathedral, I watch as Smith, carrying a bright-yellow T-shirt with the phrases “Not My King” printed on it, chants the identical slogan from a megaphone together with his fellow protesters to lots of of onlookers.

I’m not the one member of the press in attendance. Amid the ocean of individuals, I spot a number of reporters and digicam crews interviewing Smith’s colleagues. There may be additionally a counterprotest among the many crowd, a small group of royalists holding indicators that learn: “Charles King of Scots.”

Smith is the founder and CEO of Republic, a UK anti-monarchy group. The group gained a brand new degree of recognition after the group mentioned on Twitter that six of its members, together with Smith, had been arrested at Charles’ coronation in London on Could 6.

In an interview with the UK’s Channel 4, Smith mentioned he and different protesters had been arrested on suspicion of “conspiracy to breach the peace” and had been detained for at the least 16 hours, in keeping with a video obtained by The Impartial.

In the identical video, Smith advised Channel 4 that Republic had conversations with the Metropolitan Police about its plans for a “peaceable protest” for 4 months earlier than the coronation and that police initially had “no considerations.”

Graham Smith

Graham Smith on the anti-monarchy protest at Edinburgh’s Royal Mile on Wednesday.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

In accordance with a Sky Information report from Could 9, police arrested 64 individuals on Charles’ coronation day.

As Insider beforehand reported, the Metropolitan Police mentioned on Twitter that they “made a variety of arrests” on the day, and had been holding the people in query “on suspicion of breaching the peace.” 4 others had been detained “on suspicion of conspiracy to trigger public nuisance,” and three had been being held “on suspicion of possessing articles to trigger prison harm,” the authorities added on Twitter.

The police seized gadgets from Republic members that they believed may very well be used as lock-on units, Sky Information reported on the time.

Days later, on Could 9, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police launched a press release expressing “remorse” over the arrests, as an investigation was unable to show that the protesters had intent to disrupt the occasion, Sky Information reported. The assertion added that the protesters had been launched with their bail canceled and that “no additional motion will likely be taken.”

anti-monarchy protesters

Protesters in Edinburgh, Scotland on Wednesday.

Mikhaila Friel/Insider

At Wednesday’s occasion in Edinburgh, I requested Smith whether or not he acquired an apology from the royal household or Buckingham Palace after the incident.

“No, they’ve mentioned nothing in any respect,” Smith, creator of “Abolish the Monarchy,” mentioned. “Most likely sooner or later I’ll write to the king and ask for some remark. We haven’t finished that but, we’re busy suing the police for the time being.”

Smith mentioned he’s suing the Metropolitan Police over its response to the protests at Charles’ coronation, including that it’s a “sluggish course of” and that his legal professionals are within the technique of writing authorized letters to the police. 

“The police have solely mentioned they remorse it, they haven’t apologized, however I believe they’ll sooner or later,” he mentioned. 

“I’ve all the time been advised that the purpose of the monarchy is to defend our liberties and democracy, and but the king doesn’t care when individuals get arrested,” Smith added.

anti-monarchy protesters king charles queen camilla

Anti-monarchy protesters maintain up placards as Britain’s King Charles III and Britain’s Queen Camilla journey within the State Bentley to attend a Nationwide Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication, in Edinburgh on July 5, 2023.

MARK RUNNACLES/POOL/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Quite the opposite, Smith mentioned he has had a great expertise with the police in Scotland. Republic members have attended a number of occasions throughout Royal Week, an annual celebration of Scottish tradition marked by visits throughout the nation by the royal household.

Smith mentioned Scotland has “a unique perspective” to anti-monarchy protesters and that the police have been “actually good to date.”

“They’ve allow us to get on with it,” he added.

Buckingham Palace declined to remark when contacted by Insider. London’s Metropolitan Police didn’t instantly reply to Insider’s request for remark.