22 Police Officers Injured in Scuffles at Illegal London Block Party

22 Police Officers Injured in Scuffles at Illegal London Block Party

22 Police Officers Injured in Scuffles at Illegal London Block Party

22 Police Officers Injured in Scuffles at Illegal London Block Party

At least 22 police officers were injured in South London on Wednesday night as they tried to disperse crowds that had gathered for an illegal outdoor party in defiance of coronavirus restrictions, the police said.

Gatherings of more than six people from separate households are banned in Britain, but hundreds of partygoers had assembled for the block party in the Brixton neighborhood, as the city experienced its hottest day so far this year.

The party was one of dozens of illegal gatherings across a country still grappling with the pandemic. Even as the numbers of new cases and deaths have dropped significantly, scientists have warned that the easing of restrictions and a reduction in the required social distance between people could trigger a wave of infections.

Britain has reported more than 43,000 coronavirus deaths and 306,000 cases since the pandemic began, and this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the country’s pubs, restaurants, hotels and museums would reopen on July 4.

The Metropolitan Police, London’s main force, said in a statement that officers had received several complaints about the outdoor party in Brixton on Wednesday night, and tried to encourage the crowd to go home, but “the event continued and more officers attended the scene and the group became hostile toward officers.”

Footage shared on social media showed the scene devolve into chaos as officers and partygoers faced off. Clips show a small group smashing the windows of a police vehicle and at least one man threatened a dozen police officers with what appeared to be a long wooden stick, shouting “back up.”

Several people chased after police officers who were retreating in a van, while other partygoers could be seen running in panic from the scene.

In total, 22 officers were injured, according to the police, none of them seriously, although two received hospital treatment. Four people were arrested overnight and remained in custody on Thursday.

Colin Wingrove, a commander in the Metropolitan Police, said such gatherings posed a great risk to public health. “The violence shown toward officers is totally unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in any form,” he added.

Britain has been under lockdown since late March, and despite the gradual easing of restrictions in recent weeks, the police have struggled to interrupt dozens of illegal gatherings, parties and raves largely planned on social media.

Some have turned tragic: At a “quarantine rave” that gathered over 4,000 people in a park in Oldham, near Manchester, earlier this month, a 20-year-old died of a suspected drug overdose, and the police are investigating reports that an 18-year-old woman was raped and three men were stabbed at another party.

Dozens of other unlicensed parties have been organized across the country, and Tony Blockley, head of policing at the University of Derby, told Wired U.K. that the police had struggled to address the issue.

  • Updated June 24, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

“The reality is the police are going to be unable to prevent such numbers and volumes of people descending onto a location, particularly if those individuals are intent on having their rave,” he said.

It is unclear whether the lockdown has prompted an increase in illegal parties in London or across the country. The Metropolitan Police didn’t immediately respond to requests for further comment.

The incident on Wednesday followed several confrontations between the police and protesters in London in recent weeks.

There were a handful of clashes linked to widespread and largely peaceful anti-racism protests in the wake of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis and other cases of police violence. And at a far-right counterprotest earlier this month, demonstrators threw projectiles and punched officers who were guarding boarded-up statues in central London.

Source link

Check Also

New ‘BTS Law’ Is Passed in South Korea. An Army of Fans Rejoices.

New ‘BTS Law’ Is Passed in South Korea. An Army of Fans Rejoices.

New ‘BTS Law’ Is Passed in South Korea. An Army of Fans Rejoices. New ‘BTS …