Anti-monarchy group 'Republic' stages Jubilee protest on the banks of the Thames

Protest by campaign group ahead of Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant

Anti-monarchy protesters today staged a demonstration on the banks of the Thames ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee river pageant.

The protesters, supporters of the campaign group Republic, held banners and placards saying “power to the people”, “citizen not subject”,  and “democracy not monarchy” as they called for the abolition of the monarchy.

Republic is campaigning for an elected head of state to replace the monarchy.

They have also called for a new constitution that 'really puts power in the hands of voters.'

Today's protest involved a delegation from the Swedish republican movement as well as representatives of Republic from branches in Scotland and Wales.

Speaking today the chief executive of Republic, Graham Smith, said the protest was held at the same time as the river pageant to “raise the profile” of the republican movement.

He said: “We're opposed to celebrating hereditary privilege and power. The message is to the millions of people who oppose the monarchy that there is a movement you can support.

“The whole country isn't in love with the monarchy. It's a minority interest. We'll keep going until the monarchy is abolished.”

The group faced a hostile response from some of those gathered Thames-side for the 1000-strong flotilla led by the Queen.

Despite assuring the Metropolitan Police that the protest would be peaceful this afternoon the protest group appeared to be having difficulties accessing the river protest site.

A message on the Republic account on the social networking site Twitter this afternoon stated:

'Literally hundreds being prevented from joining main #jubileeprotest. We're working with police + security to resolve this.'

Graham Smith said of the protest this afternoon, “The royals spend most of their lives shielded from criticism - this protest will give them a rare glimpse of the strength of republican sentiment in Britain today.

“The hereditary system is offensive to all the democratic values this country has fought for in the past. The jubilee represents a celebration of everything we, as republicans, oppose - it is our right and duty to challenge it and promote the alternative.

“The heightened Palace PR campaign of the last 18 months has already backfired.

“People are sick and tired of being told they must celebrate 60 years of one very privileged, very remote and very uninspiring head of state. The idea that the monarchy's future is any safer as a result of the jubilee is completely laughable.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?