Three held in 'mooning' demo at the Palace

By Sophie Goodchild
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The Independent Online

The Queen, used to seeing bowed heads, was yesterday spared an unusual view of her subjects - their backsides.

The Queen, used to seeing bowed heads, was yesterday spared an unusual view of her subjects - their backsides.

Three of the monarch's most belligerently disloyal people assembled with colleagues outside Buckingham Palace and staged The Moon Against Monarchy. But shortly after pulling down their trousers, they were arrested.

They were being held at Charing Cross police station, a police spokesman said last night, adding: "Three people have been arrested. They were all male. There was no scuffle. They left peacefully."

The Queen, however, was not at home to witness the disloyal demo. It was organised by the Movement Against the Monarchy which wants to abolish the royal family. A spokeswoman, calling herself Laura Norda, said: "It is a protest to highlight the absurdity of the monarchy. The monarchy is the most expensive soap opera in history.

"We hope to galvanise support from people who are against the monarchy and the British class system."

The area in front of Buckingham Palace including the Queen Victoria Memorial was cordoned off by police who maintained a heavy presence throughout the peaceful and good-natured demonstration.

The protesters were greeted with a round of applause as they bared their bottoms in front of puzzled tourists.

At least 14 people were arrested yesterday as scuffles broke out between anti-capitalist demonstrators and police in Birmingham. The Reclaim the Streets demonstration had started peacefully earlier in the day with police officers outnumbering demonstrators who had gathered in Victoria Square, outside the city's main library. Violence broke out as about 30 protesters attempted to march on the city centre.

Several demonstrators managed to break free from the line of police officers escorting them and instead headed into a nearby shopping centre where they attempted to enter a McDonald's restaurant.

However, they were held back by security guards, posted on the doors, and then arrested as they clashed with riot police at the end of Birmingham's New Street.

It is understood that those arrested are now being questioned on suspicion of public order offences.