UK

Million Mask March London 2015 Live: Bonfire Night Chaos Ensues As Three Police Officers Injured And Patrol Car Set Ablaze

05/11/2015 19:00 GMT | Updated 06/11/2015 11:59 GMT

Three police officers were treated in hospital on Thursday after being injured during an anti-capitalist march which also resulted in a patrol car being torched.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators clad in Guy Fawkes masks descended on central London to protest capitalism and digital privacy incursions by state security services. Fifty people were arrested and early in the evening police apprehended three men, aged 38, 55 and 50 on suspicion of being in possession of offensive weapons. The men, said to have been found with knives, gas canisters and lock picks in Trafalgar Square, remain in custody.

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Protester smashes up a burning police car.

One of the injured officers is believed to have been thrown from a police horse near Buckingham Palace, an incident that also resulted in the animal needing treatment. Protesters were said to have fired fireworks and pointed lasers at police horses. An unattended police car at Queen Anne's Gate was set ablaze at 7.50pm. Anarchists were later filmed jumping on and attacking the car.

Police said a "small number of people" were involved in the incident which was away from the main protests, and "enquiries into the incident's circumstances continue".

Bonfire Night's 'Million Mask March' was organised by hacktivist collective 'Anonymous', and saw marches being held in 650 other cities across the globe.

Police ramped up numbers in a bid to curb violence and anti-social behaviour, but Scotland Yard told The Huffington Post UK that 49 people had been arrested, some three and a half hours after the demonstration was due to end.

27 of these were for public order offences, three for possession of an offensive weapon, two on suspicion of assaulting a police officer, while three others were arrested on separate counts of criminal damage, common assault and drug offences, respectively.

14 other attendees were also arrested, the Met confirmed.

November 5's annual festivities officially kicked off at 6pm on Thursday, with demonstrators carrying placards, including some saying: "One solution, revolution."

A curfew was issued for marchers, in anticipation that the event could turn violent, as had been the case in previous years.

Police only allowed static protest at three points - outside the National Gallery, opposite the Prime Minister's residence of 10 Downing Street and on the lawns outside the Houses of Parliament, which was the setting of Guy Fawkes' gun powder plot exactly 410 year ago today.

Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills spoke out about the event - also dubbed 'Operation November 5'.

She said: “This year we have strong reason to believe that peaceful protest is the last thing on the minds of many of the people who will come along.

Mills also claimed that in 2014 "hundreds of people on their way home from work, or out enjoying an evening in the capital, were surrounded by people causing them huge concern".

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Police try and block masked demonstrators as they march in central London

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A protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask holds a placard as he stands alongside a burning police car

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Masked protesters are stopped by a police line during the Million Mask March

But her comments were rebutted by the march's organisers in a statement on Facebook, who said the event was to call for a "positive change in the world".

"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," they wrote.

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A man is detained by police in Trafalgar Square, London during the Million Mask March bonfire night protest organised by activist group Anonymous

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Police try and block masked demonstrators as they march from Parliament Square

"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 handicapped.

"We have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many and we say enough is enough."

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Anti-capitalist protesters clash with police officers during last night's march

They invited fellow activists, workers, students, doctors and nurses - and "all those that want to see a positive change in the world", to join them on the November 5th march.

"The government and the 1% have played their hand," they concluded, adding: "Now it is time to play ours."

Million Mask March in 50 Pictures

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Million Mask March in 50 Pictures