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© Reuters. Anti-lockdown ‘Unite for Freedom’ protest in London

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LONDON (Reuters) – Several thousand anti-lockdown demonstrators marched through central London on Saturday despite restrictions on mass gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was billed by organisers: “Unite for Freedom”.

The protesters view COVID-19 restrictions as unnecessary and a breach of their human rights. They oppose vaccinations, mask-wearing and so called health passports.

Media reports put numbers at about 10,000, though the Metropolitan Police did not confirm a figure.

Protesters chanted “freedom” and “take off your mask” and some carried placards saying: “No to vaccine passports” and “Lockdowns kill”. Most were unmasked.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said he was not aware of any arrests.

England has relaxed its lockdown restrictions in recent weeks. Non-essential shops and outdoor hospitality reopened on April 12, but indoor gatherings are still banned until May 17 at the earliest.

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