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Protesters 'Seize' Edinburgh Castle

Anti-lockdown demonstrators occupy historic castle
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2021 2:23 AM CDT
Updated Aug 18, 2021 6:49 AM CDT
Protesters 'Seize' Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle.   (Getty Images / Roll6)

(Newser) – A group of about 20 demonstrators converged on Scotland's Edinburgh Castle on Tuesday night and refused to leave, claiming they'd "seized" the ancient landmark. The protesters cited article 61 of the Magna Carta in claiming they have the right to "take the castle back" because it "belongs to the people." Visitors to the castle were evacuated as the incident was underway, the Guardian reports. The demonstrators said they wanted to "free" the country from corrupt authorities and "government tyranny," the Edinburgh Evening News reports. It's not clear what the status of the incident was as of Wednesday morning. According to the National, the demonstrators are protesting against pandemic lockdowns.

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The Magna Carta, signed by King John in 1215, predates the Act of Union, when England and Scotland came together to form the United Kingdom in 1707. As such, it does not actually apply to Scotland. As for article 61, an article at FullFact explains that it gave 25 specific barons—not the population at large—the power to seize the monarch's lands if provisions of the document were not abided by. The article, however, was removed from subsequent versions of the Magna Carta and never made its way into English law. (Read more Edinburgh stories.)

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