On 3 June 2020, the U.S. Embassy in London issued a Demonstration Alert that reads in part as follows:
“Location: Central London, Edinburgh, Belfast – United Kingdom
“Event: Numerous demonstrations are being planned for June 3 to 7, 2020 across the United Kingdom. The majority of the demonstrations will be focused in central London. Several of the events are expected to attract large crowds.
Demonstrations and marches are expected to take place:
- Friday, June 5 at 12:00 PM in Trafalgar Square
- Saturday, June 6 at 12:00 PM in Parliament Square (a march)
- Saturday, June 6 at 3:00 PM at the U.S. Embassy London
- Saturday, June 6 at 3:00 PM in downtown Belfast
- Sunday, June 7 at 2:00 PM at the U.S. Embassy London
- Sunday, June 7 at 1:00 PM in central Edinburgh”
Analyst Comment: These demonstrations are being organized in response to the 25 May police killing of an African American man in the northern U.S. city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, while in police custody. A similar demonstration organized by the Black Lives Matter activist group in central London drew thousands of participants on 3 June. Protesters gathered in Hyde Park, from where they marched to Victoria Station and on to Parliament. Minor clashes occurred between protesters and police officers, but there were no reports of significant injuries. Police officers arrested at least 13 protesters.
Travelers and expatriates in the U.K. should avoid the aforementioned protest venues, as violence is an ever-present concern during such gatherings and could collaterally affect individuals in areas where clashes may occur.