Hundreds of furious demonstrators shut roads to fight Government Covid rules.

The group were seen in Cherrydown East in Basildon yesterday afternoon - with placards and signs.

Southend Standard:

Huge then moved to Sparrows Herne with multiple people being held down in the road by large numbers officers.

Nine people were arrested during the incidents branded as a clear and blatant breach of Covid-19 rules, by police. 

They blocked the road and as more police units arrived to keep the hoards of people under control live videos were shared online.

The protesters with megaphones were accusing police of being heavy handed and encouraging residents to come out of their homes to join the march.

It came as police officer stepped up efforts to crack down on rule breakers across the borough by arresting revellers at an illegal event in the town.

Revellers were forced into police vans and arrested when officers were called to Audley Way in Basildon at about 3pm yesterday.

A dispersal order is currently in place covering an area within the boundaries of Great Oaks and Southernhay as well as the Craylands testing facility at the junction with Churchill Avenue, and Basildon railway station.

Basildon's protests and illegal event comes after demonstrators march through streets of Bournemouth and Liverpool in fight against Covid restrictions.

Rallies were held in Bournemouth and Liverpool, where a growing crowd chanted 'freedom' as they marched through the city in the rain.

Kerry Smith, Independent leader of Basildon Council sympathised with the protesters.

He said: "The route cause of this is social media and main stream media only putting out one side of the story. Protests should be done in a different manner and I do not support anyone causing disturbance.

Peaceful protest marches happening all over rge coutry today here's some footage over in Basildon 🙌🙌

Posted by Sarah-Jane Capp on Saturday, 21 November 2020

"People feel gagged and this should not have happened but what do people expect when people are gagged by the establishment.”

No-one was seriously injured although some officers have reported being assaulted.

Supt Bonnie Moore said: “This was a clear and blatant breach of the Government’s Covid-19 regulations and those who took part have risked their health and those of their loved ones through he spread of the virus.

“Our approach to the Government’s regulations has always been to try to engage with people, explain the regulations, and encourage them to do the right thing.

“Sadly, today that was not successful and we had to take enforcement action.

“A number of our officers involved today also reported being injured but, thankfully, their injuries are relatively minor.

“I know these are challenging times for everyone but we all have a responsibility to help keep each other safe.

“Having to deal with clear and blatant breaches of the regulations means having to take our officers away from dealing with other incidents and affects our ability to respond to other forms of crime.

“Most people across Essex are doing that and I thank you for it. It means we can spend more time doing what we do best – helping people, keeping people safe, and catching criminals.”