Protesters and police engaged in a tense and prolonged stand-off outside London’s Buckingham Palace as metal barriers cordoning off the area were removed and protesters incited police to fight.
At least five people were arrested amid sporadic clashes between the Million Mask March protesters and police in London. Authorities said that people were apprehended for assaulting police officers, setting off fireworks, obstruction and at least one case of attempted grievous bodily harm.
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“Move back now,” police yelled. “Piggy piggy piggy, fight fight fight,” protesters shouted at police.
Jostling with the metal barriers segregating police from protesters took place, with some being lifted off the floor and hurled at the law enforcement officials.
As they were felled, some of the protesters sat down in front of the policemen, seeming to act as a replacement barrier of sorts from more violent demonstrators while still retaining masks.
Some protesters sent fireworks over the crowd in direct contravention of a Met police directive for people not to use pyrotechnics at the march.
Protesters then moved towards Piccadilly Circus before turning onto Regents Street, and kept marching through the central London streets.
A small group of protesters also descended on a local McDonalds on Oxford Road, chanting ‘Meat is murder!’ at people inside. The group was held back by heavy police presence.
It’s still unknown how many demonstrators joined the march, in 2013 the event gathered crowds of more than 2,500 and the Facebook event suggests over 6,000 people are in attendence this year.
The Million Mask March is sweeping the globe Wednesday as demonstrators protest against austerity, mass surveillance and oppression in more than 400 cities around the world. The “Million Mask March” called for by Anonymous is famed for featuring demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes masks, adopted by the collective from the V for Vendetta novel.
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