Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Oxford this Saturday.
Most came to take part in an anti-low traffic neighbourhood demonstration, protesting proposed traffic filters and their restrictions on freedom of movement. The main site of this protest was along Broad Street and swelled to hundreds of people after midday.
The protestors spoke of restrictions to their personal freedom and worried that their ability to travel within Oxford would be impeded by the proposed traffic filters. 4 different groups were protesting, with a number of organisations and individuals criticising government intervention in general. Handouts protesting digital IDs, digital currencies and continued vaccination were circulated.
National far-right groups, like the Patriotic Alternative (PA), were also out on Saturday. Union Jacks, variations on the English flag and banners bearing the libertarian slogan “Don’t tread on me” were seen amongst the crowd on Broad Street.
In opposition to these organisations, a counter-protest was staged at the same time in Bonn Square. Ian McKendrink, from Stand Up to Racism, helped organise this counter-protest in order to show support for minorities and oppose the alleged racist rhetoric of groups present at the main LTN protest. He claims that far-right groups have attempted to hijack the local LTN movement.
There was a strong police presence around the two groups at all times, with one officer stating that several police officers had been brought in from other areas to control the protests. Dozens of officers in helmets on horseback and multiple police vans maintained a border around the Broad Street protest. While no major clashes took place, police separation was required to keep small groups from both protests separate in a few instances.