News

Police clash with protesters at Million Mask March

Eight officers were said to be injured at the annual march in central London. Scotland Yard said 12 protesters were arrested.

million mask march

Police and protesters at a previous Million Mask March in London. Image: bayerberg / Flickr

Police officers clashed with protesters as tensions flared during the Million Mask March on Bonfire Night.

Scotland Yard said 12 officers were injured during the clashes and 12 people were arrested for a variety of offences, adding that none of the injuries sustained by officers were serious.

The Met had earlier in the day warned of groups coming to London to deliberately cause violence and disorder.

Protesters set off fireworks at Parliament Square and burned an effigy of Boris Johnson as hundreds gathered for the demonstrations.

Crowds gathered at Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square for the Million Mask March, which has been held since 2012 to protest against issues including government corruption, homelessness, and inequality.

This year’s protests also attracted anti-vaccine protesters, with chants of “you can stick your poison vaccine up your arse” heard.

Nearly 200 people were arrested at last year’s protests, which were held while the country was under Covid restrictions.

Videos of this year’s clashes showed crowds of protesters being met with a heavy police presence.

https://twitter.com/disclosetv/status/1456716424496431109

Another video showed an officer being hit on the head by a water bottle. The Met said it had removed fireworks from people in the crowd after rockets had hit people and exploded near others.

By 9pm, the Met confirmed it had issued a section 35 dispersal order for areas of Westminster, including Parliament Square.

In a statement on Twitter, the Metropolitan Police said: “A total of 12 arrests were made while policing tonight’s demonstrations across London. Those arrests were for a variety of offences.

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

In an updated statement made on Monday, the Met said 12 officers had been injured, although none seriously. A spokesperson told the Big Issue: “Officers made a total of 12 arrests while policing a number of demonstrations across central London on Friday, 5 November. Arrests were for a variety of offences. During the demonstrations, officers worked hard to minimise disorder and take action against those intent on causing violence.

“Twelve officers were injured during the course of the operation following clashes with crowds who were intent on causing disorder. Thankfully, none of the injuries were serious.

“Officers remained professional despite provocation and worked to prevent groups from dangerously setting off fireworks into the crowd. These fireworks could have resulted in serious injury and endangered passing members of the public. This was averted due to proactive interventions and arrests.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Scottish government is declaring a national housing emergency – but what does it actually mean?
Scottish first minister John Swinney
Housing

Scottish government is declaring a national housing emergency – but what does it actually mean?

The UK used to be the most LGBTQ-friendly place in Europe. Now, it's not even close
LGBTQ+ rights

The UK used to be the most LGBTQ-friendly place in Europe. Now, it's not even close

'We're at breaking point': Food banks see record number of first-time users as demand soars
food bank
Food banks

'We're at breaking point': Food banks see record number of first-time users as demand soars

Benefits system is 'utterly failing' as food bank demand reaches record high: 'It's heartbreaking'
donate to a food bank
Food banks

Benefits system is 'utterly failing' as food bank demand reaches record high: 'It's heartbreaking'

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know