A shopping mall in West London, England was forced to shut down to customers after a horde of anti-lockdown protesters swarmed the building to protest pandemic-related restrictions.
But the shopping mall was fully open to customers at the time, because the United Kingdom has significantly eliminated restrictions and is not currently under a lockdown.
You can't make this up.
Police now trying to contain anti-lockdown protests inside Westfield, West London https://t.co/5DAzRaBtdi— Julian Druker (@Julian Druker) 1622308498.0
If you're struggling to understand this bizarre situation, you're not alone—the scene left many scratching their heads.
As shoppers attempted to make their rounds Saturday, hordes of protestors descended on the Westfield shopping center in West London, pounding drums and shouting "Freedom!" and "Keep Britain free!" both inside and outside the facility.
But in a darkly ironic twist, their demonstration backfired entirely when stores in the mall's center were forced to close in order to keep employees safe from the throng. Police soon needed to be called to deal with the situation outside the mall as well, resulting in roads leading to the center being closed.
Several other protests erupted around London too, among the largest being a throng with flags and signs gathered in Parliament Square.
The United Kingdom eased its restrictions on May 17 amid falling virus cases and rising vaccination rates.
While limits on the number of people who can gather in one place remain in effect, all businesses, events and entertainment venues, shopping centers, restaurants and bars are permitted to be open.
The protest at the shopping mall only lasted about 20 minutes, while police cleared the crowds with batons. But it lasted plenty long enough to perplex many people on Twitter, who couldn't believe the ridiculous scene of an anti-lockdown protest at a fully open mall.
“What do we WANT!” “We want FREEDOM!!! So on a glorious sunny day while parks, zoos, pubs, restaurants and beaches… https://t.co/EvUMRiZRnE— Adil Ray OBE 💙 (@Adil Ray OBE 💙) 1622367907.0
@Julian5News So they walked past all the open restaurants, all the open pubs into an open shopping centre full of o… https://t.co/XHGDnZA2nD— James Weston (@James Weston) 1622311587.0
Anti-lockdown protesters now wading into Primark to tell those currently working in Primark that they need to take… https://t.co/9Z1kTs4ge4— David (@David) 1622312086.0
How are you anti-lockdown when you’re literally outside you clowns https://t.co/RZ9KUklfxS— Mollie Goodfellow (@Mollie Goodfellow) 1622311261.0
I feel so sorry for all of those poor retail workers caught up in the mess at Westfield. People are so selfish.— pip 🕳️ (@pip 🕳️) 1622310483.0
"What d'ya want?" - "FREEDOM!" "When d'ya want it ?" - "NOW!" Chanted without a hint of irony from inside a FULLY… https://t.co/h2tLplJwDd— Marsh4LL (@Marsh4LL) 1622318248.0
Fairly sure the very fact all the shops in Westfield are open is the way you tell lockdown is no longer happening. https://t.co/6njNxqBSPJ— Catherine Finnecy (@Catherine Finnecy) 1622311097.0
I don't know what's more ironic - the fact that #Antilockdown protesters forced the CLOSURE of #westfield Shopping… https://t.co/DHrDMUhf9j— Dr Zubaida Haque (@Dr Zubaida Haque) 1622358961.0
@thisisjoeob So anti lockdown protestors go to an open shopping centre, and force it into lockdown Sound logic there— FWAW (@FWAW) 1622313082.0
London's Metropolitan Police reported they made four arrests Saturday across all the demonstrations staged against the non-existent lockdown.