News Column

Scores Arrested in London Without Incident

April 29, 2011

London police arrested scores of protesters Friday, nipping in the bud several incidents that had the potential to disrupt the royal wedding.

Police said suspected anarchists seen donning masks in Soho Square were detained before the ceremony, and 57 total arrests were made along the procession route for Prince William and his bride, Kate Middleton, Sky News reported.

Security for the occasion topped $33 million, with blanket stop-and-search powers helping authorities ensure everything went according to plan.

"It's all gone to plan so far. It's fantastic," a police source told Sky.

Armed and undercover officers were among the throngs of adoring fans to look for signs of trouble before anything could get out of hand.

One protester who began singing a version of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," substituting the words, "We all live in a fascist regime," was detained and silenced before he could utter a second line, The Guardian reported.

Some onlookers protested at what they considered a disproportionate response, but the singer "had articles on him to cause criminal damage," Chief Inspector John Dale said.

Police said Thursday they detained three people they believe planned to behead effigies at the royal wedding.

The BBC reported Friday police seized a guillotine during the incident in Wickham Road and the three suspects, two men and a woman, were being held at a south London police station.

A police spokesperson said the group was arrested Thursday on "suspicion of conspiracy to cause a public nuisance and breach of the peace. It is believed that those arrested were planning to attend the royal wedding."

Authorities previously warned they would carry out pre-emptive operations to prevent potential trouble on the royal wedding day.

Source: Copyright United Press International 2011

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