Queen Elizabeth: Why was the author arrested during the proclamation of King Charles?
A protester who expressed republican sentiment at a King Charles III proclamation event in Oxford said he was ‘stunned’ by the arrest
The history teacher said he was returning home from worshiping at New Road Baptist Church and had not planned to attend the event.
Mr Hill, who is also the Peace Pledge Union’s campaigns director, said he reacted after the high sheriff gave the order and was told by several members of the public to ‘shut up’. He also claimed he remained silent during a speech, which mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth II.
Speaking to NationalWorld, he said: “I found [the proclamation] was something I couldn’t just say nothing about. So when they read it, I shouted, ‘who elected him?’ And a few people chatted, told me to shut up, which I thought was fair enough.
“I replied that I thought we were being imposed a head of state without our consent,” he said.
Two security guards then allegedly told him to ‘shut up’ and then pushed Mr Hill away. He was then taken away by police. Mr Hill said they supposedly handcuffed him and drove him into the back of a police van.
Mr Hill, who is the author of Peace Protesters: A History of Modern-Day War Resistance, said several people tried to intervene in support of him. He said, “They weren’t anti-monarchists, they weren’t militants. Some of them were people who had come for the proclamation.
He added: “There were two men who more or less followed the police as they arrested me and said, ‘Why are you arresting him? I don’t agree with his point of view, but surely he has the right to free speech? »
He said there was then even more confusion as to the reason for his arrest. Mr Hill reported that officers initially detained him under the Policing, Crime, Conviction and Courts Act 2022. Thames Valley Police, however, later released a statement saying Mr Hill had been arrested on suspicion of a public order offense Section 5 of the Public Order Act.
Mr Hill said he was “flabbergasted” at the arrest, despite having previously been arrested for non-violent direct action as a former media coordinator for the campaign against the arms trade. He said: “I was not surprised to have been arrested at that time. I was doing direct action. I had planned to do something that I knew might have that kind of consequence.
Mr Hill admitted: ‘This time I was really stunned. I literally said a sentence in a public place in a fairly liberal city.
“I was really alarmed because someone, whether the police charge me or not, whether or not they arrest other people, if the fear of being arrested stops people from protesting, then it’s already a suppressed democracy”.
A spokesperson for Thames Valley said: ‘A 45-year-old man has been arrested in connection with disturbance caused at King Charles III’s earldom proclamation ceremony in Oxford.
“He was subsequently arrested and is voluntarily engaging with us as we investigate a public order breach.”