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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Violent clashes erupt in south London protest: Eritrean community tensions spark confrontation

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Camberwell demonstration turns chaotic as protesters clash with police amid factional tensions

A peaceful protest in Camberwell, South London, descended into chaos as approximately 50 demonstrators clashed with both police officers and each other. Met Police officers responded to the scene, resulting in eight arrests for offenses including violent disorder, criminal damage, possession of offensive weapons, and assault on an emergency worker. The clashes left four officers injured, one of whom required hospitalization.

According to a spokesperson, the demonstration near The Lighthouse Theatre was fueled by “tensions among different factions of the Eritrean community.” Footage circulating online depicts uniformed officers, without riot gear, holding their ground against protesters wielding sticks and poles. The clashes prompted police to arrest individuals for a range of offenses.

“Officers are on scene in Camberwell Road, SE5, where there is a protest with approximately 50 people gathered outside a private venue. Additional officers are on their way to the location to assist with the demonstration,” reported Southwark Police on social media.

The protests were centered around a private venue where an event organized by a group took place. Reports suggest the arrested individuals were part of a group of demonstrators who gathered outside the venue. In response to the situation, Southwark Police implemented a Section 35 dispersal order for Camberwell Road, granting them the authority to exclude individuals or groups from the area for 48 hours.

Speculation surfaced online, suggesting that the Eritrean embassy was holding a meeting at the time of the protest. Witnesses reported a confrontation between protesters and individuals associated with the embassy. John Lubbock stated, “People I’ve talked to say that the Eritrean embassy was holding a meeting, and the protesters turned up, leading to a confrontation between the two groups.”

The incident follows a pattern of tensions within the Eritrean community, with past protests and demonstrations in the UK and abroad against the Eritrean government’s actions, particularly regarding the occupation of the Tigray region.

As investigations into the clashes continue, the Southwark Police maintain a Section 35 dispersal order in Camberwell Road until 7 am the next day.

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