Anarchists and anti-vaxxers have set an effigy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson ablaze in Trafalgar Square as hundreds of protestors clash with police on the streets of London amid the annual Million Mask March.
Hordes of rioters sporting Guy Fawkes masks, flares and weapons are spoiling for a fight with the law, forcing the police to set up barricades at various locations across the capital and deploy in riot gear to contain the march which they have vowed ‘will go down in history’.
Several fights between protestors and officers have already broken out as anarchists joined arms and rushed into police ranks, while the Met confirmed riot police have been dispatched to confiscate fireworks from the rioters who have fired the projectiles into crowds.
It comes as families and children are out in droves to celebrate bonfire night as they attend fireworks displays all over the city.
The march, which has been held each year since 2012, sees anarchists and anti-establishment protestors rally against government corruption, wealth inequality and, as of last year, coronavirus restrictions.
Almost 200 people, including businessman and prominent anti-vaxxer Piers Corbyn, were arrested in last year’s march for breaching Covid restrictions.
Anarchists and anti-vaxxers carry an effigy of Boris Johnson as they parade around the streets of the capital
The Prime Minister’s effigy was then set ablaze in Trafalgar square as hundreds of protestors clash with riot police
The Police have been forced to deploy barricades and defences with many officers donning riot gear as they clash with protestors
Anarchists and anti-establishment protesters are marching through Westminster and Trafalgar Square touting signs and flares
Hundreds of officers have been deployed to reign in the march which takes place as families and children are out in droves to celebrate bonfire night as they attend fireworks displays all over the city
A protestor wearing a Guy Fawkes masks sets off a sparkler during the Million Masks March protest in Parliament square
Videos have emerged of protestors joining arms and rushing police officers in violent clashes, while other clips have shown the anarchists launching fireworks towards police ranks and setting Boris Johnson’s effigy alight at the foot of Nelson’s column.
The Met police released a statement this morning in anticipation of the protest, saying that intelligence suggests some protestors have travelled to London to target police officers.
Mounted divisions and dog units have also been called in to support the police’s efforts to prevent the march from descending into a full-blown riot.
‘This policing plan has been developed following a continual review and thorough assessment of intelligence which suggests some groups are intent on causing disorder or targeting police officers with violence,’ said a Met spokesperson.
‘As a precaution, officers will be equipped with specialist public order uniforms and a number of protective barriers have been set up outside a number of locations in London.
Different units across the Met will also support today’s policing plan, including our public order teams, mounted branch, police dogs and the National Police Air Service.’
Police say that no arrests have yet been made as they attempt to keep the protest as peaceful as possible.
Police look on as a protester holds a firework in Trafalgar Square in front of the burning effigy of Boris Johnson during ‘The Million Mask March’
A protester holds a ‘Free Julian Assange’ banner as he stands on the fountain in Trafalgar Square during ‘The Million Mask March
Hordes of protestors have blocked traffic in Parliament Square as they clash with police officers, many of whom are in riot gear