HUNDREDS of people marched through the streets of the city on Saturday as part of a protest against the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

Campaigners of all ages made up the crowd of about 250 people which gathered at the Peace Statue in Hove at noon before making their way towards the city centre.

Many carried signs with messages including “no more lockdowns” and “all we want for Christmas is our freedom back”.

Others demanded “no mandatory vaccination” following the roll out of a mass vaccination programme in the UK last week, with patients at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton among the first in the world to receive a dose of the newly-approved Pfizer and BioNTech treatment.

The Argus:

Regular chants of “freedom” could be heard as the protesters travelled east along the seafront towards the Palace Pier, filling an area of the promenade.

The group appeared to be led by a man with a megaphone dressed as Father Christmas.

At one point, he shouted: “We have woken up. We will no longer be complicit.”

The Argus:

Meanwhile, others taking part in the march could be heard projecting statistics about the number of coronavirus deaths and the average age of people to have died from coronavirus compared to the life expectancy in the UK.

Another group member dismissed the idea of wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus as “a conspiracy” and unhealthy”.

There was a large police presence during the protest, with force vans lining the road near Hove Lawns as the marchers prepared to set off.

The Argus:

Officers on foot flanked the group and Force motorbikes and vans followed on behind as members made their way up to Brighton Station via Trafalgar Street before heading down Queen’s Road and veering left along Western Road.

It eventually returned to Hove Lawns, where the march ended and the crowd dissipated.

The event was organised by Save Our Rights UK, a group which describes itself as a “grassroots movement that sees how this country is not governed by a real democracy”.

The Argus:

“We seek to unite people and enact change,” its website states.

“We envision a country not run by corruption and where people have a voice that is truly heard.”

Its top issue is with the Coronavirus Act 2020; the legislation under which the government has introduced restrictions in the UK designed to stop the spread of the illness.