Thousands of anti-capitalist protesters gathered in central London last night, as part of the annual global Million Masks March organised by the Anonymous network.
Banners and placards in hand, protesters descended on Trafalgar Square before marching towards Parliament Square at 6.30pm.
Despite an earlier warning from Scotland Yard to Anonymous that it had powers to remove facial coverings ahead of the march, many wore the Guy Fawkes masks which have become the group’s signature.
The masks became a symbol of civil disobedience following the 2006 film V for Vendetta, based on the comic book of the same name. The movie depicted a totalitarian vision of Britain, where protesters donned Guy Fawkes masks and gathered on 5 November to rally against their oppressors.
On the protest route in London, demonstrators chanted anti-establishment slogans as they walked.
There was a heavy police presence at both Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square, as well as along Whitehall, following a plea from Scotland Yard earlier today that activists co-operate with officers.
Despite a chorus of boos and whistles as an officer from the Metropolitan Police warned protesters about their behaviour over a loud hailer, the protest began peacefully.
Later, some marchers left Parliament Square for Buckingham Palace, with some kicking and dragging security railings on the way as the chanted “one solution, revolution.” As they neared the Palace, they were confronted with a large police presence and plastic cones and road signs were thrown at officers who had their batons drawn.
The mood then calmed, with many protesters sitting down in front of the police, before they moved off again.
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