Covid protester filmed shouting ‘this is fascism’ as police arrest him

covid protester filmed shouting this is fascism as police arrest him - Covid protester filmed shouting 'this is fascism' as police arrest him

A man was filmed repeatedly shouting “this is fascism” as he was arrested by police over “anti-covid graffiti”.

Avon and Somerset Police arrested the man in Bristol on suspicion of criminal damage, after coronavirus-related messages were scrawled on the ground.

The 55-year-old was arrested on Saturday afternoon (January 30), but police confirmed with Bristol Live today that no further action will be taken.

However the man, who was not named by police, has been issued with a £200 fine for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

Footage posted on social media over the weekend showed him being arrested next to Pero’s Bridge, asking “how humiliating is this?” as people turned to look.

Earlier in the video, police had stopped him as he walked holding a ‘covid facts’ sign alongside a man wearing a zorb-like plastic bubble.

An officer seemed to be giving him an informal warning about the lockdown rules, and could be heard telling him: “There’s a lot of police out today, I’m just giving you the heads-up now.”

Another officer advised: “You have your opinions, but just make sure you [inaudible] the guidelines and the law alright.”

The ongoing national lockdown means that people can only leave their homes for specific reasons, including for work and for exercise.

When the man was seen again at the harbourside, two policemen on bikes were filmed approaching him and making reference to CCTV, gesturing at something in the distance.

Passersby could be seen glancing curious looks in their direction.

‘Arrested for chalking on the ground’

Responding to one person who questioned what was happening, the man said: “[They are] arresting me for chalking on the ground about COVID-19 and lockdown.

“They’re even handcuffing me – how ridiculous is this?

“Just because I’m chalking about a political matter.”

The man remained calm as he was being handcuffed and cooperated with police, but made his voice heard as he was led away.

He shouted: “This is fascism, this is fascism.

“[Inaudible] free speech in the United Kingdom in 2021 – arrested for chalking on the ground about lockdown and COVID-19.

“This is what’s coming for all of you, if you dare stand up and speak the truth, or step out of line as far as they’re concerned.

“They’ve arrested me for speaking out against lockdown – how sinister is this?

“Everyone should be concerned – they will be coming for you, and your children.”

Police did not state what the contents of the graffiti was, but described the contents in a tweet as “anti-covid”.

The tweet read: “We’ve just arrested a 55yo man for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

“He has also been arrested for causing criminal damage after anti-COVID graffiti was written on a pavement.

“Only leave home if it’s essential. We will take action against anyone blatantly breaking the rules.”

Chalk messages including the words “don’t accept Satan’s jab” were still visible on the ground along Waterside on Sunday (January 31), but it is not clear if this is one of the messages they were referring to.

A police spokesperson advised Bristol Live: “No further action was taken in respect of the graffiti.

“[The man] was given a £200 fixed penalty for the Covid breach.”

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