Masked protesters clash with police on bonfire night


Hundreds of anti-establishment protesters clashed with police in Parliament Square in central London on the evening of the bonfire.

There appear to have been several arrests as some threw fireworks at the police.

Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes-style masks gathered near Trafalgar Square, where an effigy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson was burned.

A crowd gathered to watch, with one member shouting “Burn, Boris, Burn”.

Piers Corbyn performed a fire-breathing act (Yui Mok / PA)

The protesters then moved to Parliament Square where they clashed with police officers wearing protective gear.

Many protesters participating in the protest, known as the Million Mask March, were holding placards protesting the coronavirus lockdown.

One, who only gave his name to Richard, from London, said the protest, which has been taking place on November 5 for several years, was a “continuation” of “anti-Covid” marches.

“It is essentially a continuation of the anti-Covid marches that we have been leading since the start of the year,” he said.

Million masks March 2021
Clashes between police and protesters (Yui Mok / PA)

“It’s a few fingers in the direction of the establishment.”

Metropolitan Police said on Twitter that a dispersal order was in place for “a number of areas” across Westminster, including Parliament Square.

The force said: “The officers are engaging with those in Parliament Square and will inform them of this order.”

In a separate tweet, the Met said: “A crowd in Parliament Square dangerously started fireworks and rockets.

“Some have hit people or exploded near the crowd, it could cause very serious injuries.

“We moved around the crowd to remove all fireworks and prevent people from being hurt.”

Ahead of the protest, the force said officers would “work closely” with protest groups to “ensure gatherings are safe and disorder is minimized.”

“As a precautionary measure, officers will be fitted with specialized public order uniforms and a number of protective barriers have been put up outside several locations in London,” he added.

Million masks March 2021
Some were protesting the coronavirus lockdown (Yui Mok / PA)

Assistant Deputy Commissioner Jane Connors said ahead of the protest: “Groups of course have the right to protest.

“But I am particularly concerned that certain groups specifically intend to travel to London to deliberately cause violence and unrest, including to target police officers.

“This will not be tolerated and our law enforcement plan has been developed with this potential risk in mind.

“Our patrols will be very visible and we will work closely throughout the operation with City of London Police and UK Transport Police.”


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