Parliament Square protesters clash with police on Bonfire Night

Parliament Square protesters clash with police on Bonfire Night

Hundreds of anti-establishment activists have clashed with police in central London on Bonfire Night.

Eight officers were injured and twelve people arrested on Friday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes-style masks gathered at Trafalgar Square, with some throwing fireworks at police.

A crowd watched an effigy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson being burned, with one member shouting “burn, Boris, burn”.

The rally, which is known as the Million Mask March, then moved to Parliament Square where they faced police wearing protective gear.

Image source, PA Media

Image source, PA Media

Many of the demonstrators held signs protesting against the coronavirus lockdown, while some were seen setting off fireworks and using laser pointers.

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

“It’s basically a continuation of the anti-Covid marches that we’ve been on since the beginning of the year,” he said.

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

Image source, PA Media

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

“A total of 12 arrests were made while policing tonight’s demonstrations across London,” the force said. “Those arrests were for a variety of offences.

“Eight of our officers were injured. This is unacceptable.”

Image source, PA Media

In a separate tweet, the Met said: “A crowd in Parliament Square have been dangerously lighting fireworks and rockets. Some have struck people or exploded near to the crowd, this could cause very serious injury.

“We have moved into the crowd to remove any fireworks and prevent people coming to harm.”

Ahead of the protest, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said: “Groups of course have the right to protest. But I am particularly concerned that some groups are specifically intending to travel into London to deliberately cause violence and disorder including targeting police officers.

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

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