Protesters clashed with police as they demonstrated against coronavirus lockdown measures earlier today.

A small crowd gathered at Holyrood at around 12pm on Monday to take part in the 'Scotland Against Lockdown' event.

Community liaison officers warned those who were in attendance that they would face a fine if they stay at the location, however many refused to leave.

HeraldScotland: Image: Gordon TerrisImage: Gordon Terris

Two women were taken into the back of police vehicles after arguing with officers about their right to be outside the Scottish Parliament to protest.

Under current coronavirus regulations covering mainland Scotland people may not leave home for anything other than essential purposes, meaning marches and protests are banned.

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The event had been promoted as being a peaceful march from Holyrood to Bute House in Charlotte Square.

However, most people left the scene after instruction from officers and the procession never got under way.

HeraldScotland: Image credit: Gordon TerrisImage credit: Gordon Terris

One protester, who identified herself as Sandra, said: “They’re fighting for their civil liberties and human rights.”

She had brought a banner which suggested against using the coronavirus vaccine.

It added: “Inject civil liberties and human rights.”

The woman was later taken into the back of a police vehicle.

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Another woman tried to resist being taken into a force van by sitting on the floor.

She was carried away by officers and put in the back of the vehicle.

It comes after Police Scotland had urged protesters not to gather. 

Speaking at today's daily coronavirus briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the demonstration "deeply irresponsible".

HeraldScotland: Image credit: Gordon TerrisImage credit: Gordon Terris

The First Minister said: “I’m a passionate believer in freedom of speech and freedom of speech and people’s right to protest in a democracy.

“But right now, coming together in groups is putting people at risk. It’s putting people’s health at risk and frankly it’s not an exaggeration to say it’s putting people’s lives at risk.

“I think it’s deeply irresponsible to be doing that, whoever you are and whatever the cause is that you might be protesting for or protesting against.

HeraldScotland: Image credit: Gordon TerrisImage credit: Gordon Terris

“To people who are Covid deniers. Covid’s not fake, it’s not made up, it’s not a figment of anybody’s imagination.

"You try telling that to the 1,600 people in Scottish hospitals today suffering from Covid; the more than 100 people in intensive care suffering from Covid today; the more than 4,000 families who are currently grieving the loss of a loved one because of Covid.

HeraldScotland: Image credit: Gordon TerrisImage credit: Gordon Terris

Ms Sturgeon continued: “It’s not made up, it’s very, very real and if you think not wearing a mask or gathering together in groups and encouraging people not to take the vaccine makes you smart, I just think the vast majority of the population disagree with you and think you’re actually being really irresponsible.”

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