After facing a challenging afternoon in York, the police force have issued a statement this evening.
North Yorkshire Police said they were pleased “that the protest today went ahead without any incident”.
They had faced a volatile situation, with a large group of marchers ignoring the official route of the march and twice pushing their way through police cordons.
The Leader of City of York Council has congratulated Council staff for the way they worked with police as well.
The protesters split into more than one march, jostled police and let off flares as they walked through streets packed with Christmas shoppers. But no one was hurt.
Huge numbers of police, included mounted officers, were stationed around York Minster as the rally got underway at 1pm.
One scuffle aside, this passed off peacefully. Then, at about 2.30pm, the march began.
Eventually protesters ended up back at the Minster at 4pm and the incident concluded “with normality returning to the city centre,” police said.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Pannone said: “I’m pleased to say that the protest today went ahead without any incident. Officers were patrolling and engaging with protestors to ensure a peaceful event took place.
“We have well-rehearsed plans in place for dealing with these kind of large-scale events. The detailed planning that has gone into managing today’s demonstration has meant that it has passed off without issue.
“I’m particularly pleased that we were able to minimise disruption to residents, businesses and people shopping in the city centre on one of the busiest shopping days in the run-up to Christmas.
“I’d like to thank all residents, business owners and visitors for their patience and understanding while the march passed through the city centre.”
|The Leader of City of York Council, Councillor Keith Aspden, has congratulated Council staff, North Yorkshire Police and partners for the successful management of a protest in the city centre this weekend.|
|Councillor Aspden said, “The good work done this weekend ensured as little disruption as possible. While we know that wearing masks is important in keeping each other and our communities safe, and that the vaccines work and protect us all from COVID-19 and its new variants, everyone has the right to voice their opinion, and to protest.|
“I’m pleased that not only was this protest successfully managed, but that our teams have been so quick to ensure the necessary clean-up was completed swiftly to return the city centre to its usual high standards”.