Huffpost UK

Russell Brand Leads UK's Anonymous Protest In Call For Revolution On Guy Fawkes Night

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Comedian Russell Brand, who appeared at a Huff Post UK event on Monday, last night took his calls for revolution one step further, becoming the face of the UK's Anonymous protest.

He was pictured alongside protesters and later wrote an opinion piece in The Guardian saying that riots are sparked "when dialogue fails, when they feel unrepresented and bored by the illusion".

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Russell Brand at the Anonymous 'Million Mask March' protest in London

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The march in London on Tuesday evening led to clashes with the police after thousands took to the streets, with many wearing the now infamous Guy Fawkes mask, to protest against against government corruption, corporate malfeasance and the expanding surveillance state.

In his piece for The Guardian, Brand wrote: "We are living in a time of huge economic disparity and confronting ecological disaster. This disparity has always been, in cultures since expired, a warning sign of end of days.

"In Rome, Egypt and Easter Island the incubated ruling elites, who had forgotten that we are one interconnected people, destroyed their societies by not sharing.

"That is what's happening now, regardless of what you think of my hair or me using long words, the facts are the facts and the problem is the problem. Don't be distracted."

His comments follow an appearance on Newsnight and a guest editorship of the New Statesman which he used to call for a "total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic system."

A fire was started at the Victoria Memorial, close to the gates of Buckingham Palace, and protesters threw glass bottles during clashes with officers in riot gear. A video emerged late on Tuesday evening showing the protesters laying in front of a bus and goading the police (see below).

Later, police were filmed moving protesters from a branch of McDonalds. Some angry members of the movement retaliated by trying to regain entry to the fast food chain and were filmed chanting "scum" at the officers.

Eleven people were arrested, Scotland Yard said, nine for public order offences and two for criminal damage.
Officers in riot gear tried to shepherd the crowd.

Speaking to PA, Ceylan Hassan, 24, a university graduate described how tensions developed between the protesters and police.

"They started shouting move back, move back, but we had nowhere to go. The police started pushing us, screaming 'move back, move back'."

He added: "There was a fire on the right hand side of the monument and people started throwing things. We've been here from the start, for about four hours."

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Police in riot gear advance on protesters close to Parliament

The event is part of a MillionMaskMarch, with similar protests held in cities around the world. A Facebook page promoting the protest called for Anonymous, WikiLeaks, the Pirate Party, and Occupy to "defend humanity".

"Remember who your enemies are: Billionaires who own banks and corporations who corrupt politicians who enslave the people in injustice," it read.

Last night in London, protesters were moved back away from Buckingham Palace as the atmosphere grew tense.

Some of those involved in the march were seen ripping barriers from the side of the road.

Sean Roesner, 21, a self-employed computer programmer, travelled to the protest with his brother and friend from King's Lynn, Norfolk yesterday afternoon.

He said: "We turned up and the protest was at Buckingham Palace. When we arrived people were firing fireworks at the palace.

"It was funny. I didn't have any but I would have fired some if I had.

"I joined Anonymous because I was arrested under the Computer Misuse Act. I spent eight months on police bail last year and had done nothing wrong.

"We are here to stand up for what we believe in, to make the world a better place."

Mr Roesner said his friend had been among a group of people encircled by the police on The Mall.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said on Twitter that she had joined the protest against austerity outside Parliament earlier in the day.

Earlier, cities in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand witnessed similar events highlighting corruption, corporate malfeasance and the expanding surveillance state, with more than 450 locations around the world planning disruptions.

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Protesters close to Big Ben earlier in the evening

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