This video actually shows an anti-government protest in Belarus
A video has been shared thousands of times in multiple posts on Facebook alongside a claim that it shows a rally against coronavirus restrictions in the British capital of London. The claim is false; the footage shows an anti-government protest in Belarus in August 2020.
The video was published here on Facebook on August 29, 2020. It has been shared more than 2,400 times.
The video's caption reads: “Anti-Lockdown rally in London ?? today! Anyone else feel the shift? It’s happening! #TheGreatAwakening”.
The post circulated online after thousands gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square on August 29 to protest against the country’s coronavirus restrictions. Here is a report by UK newspaper The Guardian about the mass rally.
The claim, however, is false.
A Google reverse image search of keyframes extracted from the video in the misleading post found the same clip in this tweet published by Paul Ronzheimer, a reporter for German newspaper BILD, on August 23, 2020.
Police: „Dear citizens, this is an unauthorized mass meeting...“ But people dont care, even the street which leads to the square is PACKED. pic.twitter.com/8W1MCElJZt— Paul Ronzheimer (@ronzheimer) August 23, 2020
The tweet was part of a thread of videos from the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Anti-government protests in the city calling for an end to strongman Alexander Lukashenko's rule have entered a third week. Here is an AFP report on the ongoing unrest.
Below is a screenshot comparison of the video in the misleading post (L) and a Google Street View panorama view of the Minsk Central Post Office (R):
Closer examination of the video also revealed that the people marching are holding white and red flags. Protesters opposed to Lukashenko have used a white and red flag in recent demonstrations -- the colours of the ex-Soviet country's emboldened opposition -- as a protest symbol against Lukashenko.