Police investigate anti-vax smoke bomb

Posted On 31 Aug 2021 at 4:16 pm

An appeal for witnesses to a smoke bomb being set off during an anti-vaccination protest inside Churchill Square has been launched.

A conspiracy-theory laden demonstration led by struck off nurse Kate Shemirani eventually led to the closure of the new vaccination centre in the former Topshop unit in the Brighton shopping centre.

According to the BBC< she told people that covid "had never been proved to exist". In one video posted on YouTube, a frustrated man is seen being moved on by police after confronting Ms Sherimani because his wife’s vaccination appointment was cancelled.

Despite the smoke bomb and the centre’s closure, Sussex Police made no arrests, and the protest was allowed to continue until almost 6pm.

However, the force today said it was investigating the demonstration, particuarly the smoke bomb.

Chief Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw said: “We recognise the public’s right to protest and our officers will work with organisers to ensure the safety of demonstrators and the general public, as well as to minimise disruption.

“Enquiries are currently ongoing into Monday’s demonstration, particularly around the circumstances that led to what is believed to be a smoke bomb being set off. No arrests were made.

“We would encourage anybody who has any information which could help with the investigation to contact police online or by calling 101, quoting serial 048 of 30/08.”

Demonstrators started to gather from around 9.35am and by midday around 80 people were gathered on private land outside the shop unit formerly occupied by Topshop.

A device believed to be a smoke bomb was set off at around 1.35pm and the NHS took the decision to temporarily close the vaccination centre shortly afterwards.

The protest moved to public land in Russell Place, opposite Churchill Square, and continued until 5.50pm.

The centre reopened today. To book a jab, call 119, visit nhs.uk/covidvaccine or walk in anytime between 8.30am and 7pm.

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