‘Tory scum’: Masked anti-capitalist protesters descend on Westminster

‘Tory scum’: Masked anti-capitalist protesters descend on Westminster
Anarchist protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks let off fireworks, burned flags and yelled “Tory scum,” as the Million Mask March brought Westminster to a standstill on Sunday. The event, organized by the hacking collective Anonymous, is held on November 5 each year.

The protests, including those sporting the famous stylized mask popularized by the cult film V for Vendetta, chanted anti-establishment slogans. Police maintained a heavy presence outside key locations such as Downing Street as Westminster ground to a halt.

Thousands are reported to have attended the protest. Police said 18 arrests were made before 9.15pm for offences relating to fireworks and attempted assault on an officer. Thirteen arrests were made for public order offences, according to the Evening Standard.

Fireworks were let off along the route from Trafalgar Square along the embankment beyond Parliament and College Green, and someone was photographed burning an American flag. One firework was shot across the green near Parliament Square, towards the statue of former PM Winston Churchill.

Police imposed conditions on the march, limiting it to a three-hour period between 6pm and 9pm on a planned route between Trafalgar Square and Whitehall. Helicopters were dispatched for the event and police in riot gear were deployed in case of serious unrest.

A post on the event’s Facebook page ahead of the march, which warned activists “police are not your friends,” read: “We have seen the abuses and malpractice of this government, and governments before it.

“We have seen the encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear, we have seen the pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state.

“We have seen the Government's disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the wellbeing of the many and we say enough is enough.”

It finishes: “The Government and the 1 percent have played their hand. Now it’s time to play ours. Expect us.”

One police officer, who worked at last year’s march, described the attendance to the Daily Mail as “pitiful.”