A person raises a placard as anti-monarchy group Republic protests during the coronation of Britain's King Charles III in London on Saturday. Police made more than 50 arrests during the event. Photo by Cathal McNaughton/EPA-EFE
May 6 (UPI) -- London police said more than 50 people were arrested while protesting or preparing to protest King Charles III's coronation Saturday, drawing condemnation from human rights activists.
A total of 52 arrests were made for offenses including "affray, public order offences, breach of the peace and conspiracy to cause a public nuisance," the Metropolitan police said in a statement. "All these people remain in custody."
The Met said more than 11,500 officers were deployed for security during the coronation and that they interdicted attempts to disrupt the ceremony after receiving information on the plans.
"This included information that individuals would attempt to deface public monuments," they said.
Anti-monarchy protestors booed and chanted "not my king" as Charles was crowned, Sky News reported.
Graham Smith, the chief executive of the anti-monarchy group Republic, was amongst the more than 50 people arrested.
Activists from Just Stop Oil and Animals Rising were also arrested.
The arrests were criticized by Yasmin Ahmed, director of Human Rights Watch for Britain.
"The sight of anti-monarchy protestors being arrested for peacefully protesting in the streets of London this morning gives a green light to Putin and Xi to do the same," Ahmed tweeted Saturday.
Police defended their actions during the coronation, which were dubbed "Operation Golden Orb."
"Our first priority has been to ensure that the tens of thousands who travelled into London today, and millions more around the world, were able to enjoy a safe, secure and dignified coronation," Commander Karen Findlay said in Met statement.
"Our heartfelt thanks goes to everyone. I know our colleagues take great satisfaction from the warm comments from the public they have met," she added.
King Charles III waves from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London after his coronation on May 6, 2023. Photo by The British Ministry of Defense | License Photo