UK Police Charge David Gilmour’s Son

Police filed charges against the son of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour on Thursday for his role in last month’s violent protest against the British government’s decision to raise university tuition fees.

Charlie Gilmour, 21, shocked many in Britain when he was photographed swinging from the Union Jack attached to the Cenotaph, Britain’s most important war memorial, during the Dec. 9 demonstration.

The picture of Gilmour swinging from the flag featured prominently in the country’s tabloid press and ran over captions reading “vile” and “shame.”

Photo: AP Photo
Participating in a demonstration in central London against government plans to triple tuition fees.

Gilmour was originally arrested on suspicion of violent disorder, theft and “attempted criminal damage of the Union flag on the Cenotaph.”

Police said Thursday that they weren’t charging Gilmour with attempted criminal damage to the flag. They are however filing charges of violent disorder and “theft of a mannequin leg.”

Police said they also had cautioned or charged 11 other protesters in relation to the disorder and other protests that hit London in the run-up to the government approved the controversial tuition hike.

Although most student protesters marched peacefully, the demonstrations often descended into violence amid clashes with riot police. The Dec. 9 march was particularly fraught, with some protesters even attacking the luxury car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla.

Gilmour has apologized for what he called a “terrible insult” to Britain’s war dead. But he drew widespread ridicule when he claimed not to have known he was swinging from the Cenotaph.

Gilmour is a history student at Cambridge, one of the world’s most prestigious universities.