Police watched on as protesters held blank pieces of paper and anti-monarchy messages outside Parliament in response to arrests made after the death of the Queen.
Around a dozen protesters stood in the drizzle as tourists poured past, with some there to oppose the monarchy using the “Not My King” slogan and others turning out in support of free expression.
The demonstration follows the arrests of anti-monarchy protesters, including a man in Oxford who shouted, in reference to King Charles: “Who elected him?” and a woman in Scotland who held a sign saying: “Fuck imperialism, abolish the monarchy.” She was later charged with a breach of the peace, as was a 74-year-old man who was led away from the Palace of Holyrood and another man who heckled Prince Andrew in the Scottish capital.
Police have been criticised for the tactics, with human rights organisation Liberty stating: “Protest is not a gift from the state, it is a fundamental right.” Journalist Andrew Marr also hit out at “idiotic, heavy-handed policing” on his LBC radio show.
Barrister Paul Powlesland reported he was threatened with arrest outside parliament on Wednesday if he wrote “Not My King” on a blank piece of paper.
Speaking at Tuesday’s protest, he told the Big Issue it was a “big win” that police had stepped back.