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Police warn of groups travelling to London to ’cause violence’ at Million Mask March

Protesters are gathering in London for the Million Mask March, as police set up barriers on the capital’s streets.

The Met Police has warned of groups travelling to London to “deliberately cause violence and disorder” at the planned Million Mask March.

Police have set up protective barriers and will be donning riot equipment after concluding that groups plan to target officers at the event on Friday night.

Protests are planned at a variety of locations across central London including Trafalgar Square and Parliament Square as part of the annual march, which first took place in 2012.

Since then, the Million Mask March protests have rallied against government corruption, lockdown restrictions, and inequality and homelessness. Protesters wear Guy Fawkes masks inspired by the graphic novel and film V for Vendetta.

Almost 200 people, including Piers Corbyn, were arrested at last year’s protests for breaching Covid restrictions.

Posts in anti-lockdown groups on messaging app Telegram, seen by the Big Issue, promise the event will “by all accounts go down in history.”

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They also call on attendees to bring rockets and anonymous masks.

In a message released on Friday morning, the Met also said it would be deploying police dogs and mounted units as a precaution, but hoped to ensure “gatherings are safe and disorder is minimised”.

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Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors, said: “Residents and visitors to central London today can expect to see a higher number of police officers on duty throughout the course of the day. Officers are there to keep people safe and to respond quickly to any potential disorder of violence.

“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. Our patrols will be highly visible and we will be working closely throughout the operation with the City of London Police and the British Transport Police.”

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