Masked Anonymous Protesters Clash With Riot Police

Article @ Morning Star, published 7 November 2014

Mayhem spread across London as protesters clashed with riot police on Wednesday evening during the Anonymous international day of action.

Across the country thousands of people wearing the distinctive Guy Fawkes mask took to the streets to protest against capitalism and the establishment.

“I have come along basically to say to the government: ‘enough is enough’,” said 66-year-old protester Maggie, who was in Westminster.

“They are corrupt. They are bringing in so many austerity cuts, the welfare reform hasn’t been thought out properly yet Iain Duncan Smith seems to think it is working.”

Protesters identified a series of reasons for joining in — from the expenses scandal to police violence and racism.

Asked why he had come along, 36-year-old Steve Foster said: “The inquiry into institutional paedophilia is probably the main reason.”

“I am actually a victim myself, though not institutionally, when I was a kid.”

“I want to see a real inquiry and I want to see prosecutions and people jailed in the Establishment, where we all know it is rife. That is my biggest reason.”

The London leg of the Million Mask March started in Trafalgar Square, quickly descending on to Parliament Square.

Early confrontations with the police started in front of the House of Commons when protesters attempted to bring down the metal barriers that surround the green.

Much like in recent Occupy protests on the square, police reaction quickly escalated, with officers delivering baton blows indiscriminately.

The atmosphere was tense, with protesters often provoking officers and replying to aggression by throwing bottles, traffic cones and even fireworks at police lines.

There were similar scenes across central London, in particular in front of Buckingham Palace, throughout Piccadilly and Regent Street and later back in Trafalgar Square.

The Metropolitan Police recorded 10 arrests for alleged assault and public order offences but protesters maintained a general sense of euphoric defiance.

11-year-old Issan spent most of the night on a megaphone shouting against oppression and lack of democracy.

He told the Star: “I’m here to stick up for human rights.”

Issan’s mother agreed that it was for his future that they had come down to march.

Ask what he was hoping to do to change things for the better, Issan quickly replied: “I want to be the next PM.”