A car trying to flee protesters at the Million Mask March in London reportedly hit a photographer on Thursday. According to PA, the white Aston Martin collided with the man, as yet unnamed, after it sped away in Grosvenor Place. After a peaceful start to the demonstration, violence broke out with missiles, fireworks and flares thrown by protesters towards police.
Anti-capitalist campaigners in Guy Fawkes masks set a police car on fire near Green Park. Sporadic clashes broke out between demonstrators and officers, while a large crowd gathered outside Buckingham Palace, far from the agreed route. According to PA, protesters attempted to reach Conservative Party headquarters by accessing Great George Street. A dart was also made for the Churchill War Rooms. Police, many on horseback, formed a barrier against the protesters. More missiles were thrown in retaliation.
Demonstrators reportedly split into different factions to escape the kettling; some ended smashing windows down Conduit Street, some moved down Regent Street trapping customers in shops. One group of demonstrators ended up in Leicester Square, which was hosting the UK premiere of the third installment of 'The Hunger Games.' This led to the bizarre scene of protesters in Fawkes masks watching Hollywood stars Jennifer Lawrence and Julianne Moore cut a dash up the red carpet.
Extra officers were drafted in for the protest, which was supposed to start in Trafalgar Square and move towards Whitehall. Police in Trafalgar Square made three arrests on Thursday afternoon for the possession of offensive weapons, including knives, gas canisters and lock picks.
Messages were scribbled across placards, many calling for "revolution. Some shouted: "Whose streets? Our streets." Speaking to PA, activist Lola said she had travelled from Hull for the demonstration: "There are people who aren't represented, they should be here. I am the people. The media twist it. We are peaceful, we are doing this in a peaceful manner, but the media focus on the 1 percent who cause trouble."
Aztecarna Peatonito, from Mexico, denounced violence. "We tried for six years to get the press to take us seriously," he said. "It is only when we wore the masks that we started getting attention. Anyone who is violent is not with us."
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