London

Police make 53 arrests at the Million Mask March

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Media captionProtesters in Guy Fawkes masks gathered in Trafalgar Square in London

Fifty-three people were arrested as the Million Mask March made its way through central London, police have said.

Protesters wearing Guy Fawkes masks joined the anti-capitalist demonstrations from Trafalgar Square to Parliament on Saturday evening.

Strict conditions were imposed by the Met Police on this year's march following disorder at the 2015 event.

Police said the arrests were for drugs, offensive weapons, criminal damage, public order and obstruction offences.

The protest is one of several similar marches held worldwide on 5 November to demonstrate against capitalism.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Marchers wearing masks joined what has become a yearly event

Organised by the hacking group Anonymous, the demonstration took place along the route during a three-hour window between 18:00 and 21:00.

Some protesters climbed the base of Nelson's column and chanted the slogan "one solution, revolution" while others ignited fireworks and flares in front of Westminster Abbey.

There was a large police presence outside the Houses of Parliament and demonstrators were told to stay within the agreed boundaries as the march moved forward.

There were "pockets of disorder" and a number of fireworks were thrown, although the Met said most participants in the march were peaceful and there had been no "need for containment".

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Image caption Several protesters ignited fireworks and flares during the march

Commander Ben-Julian Harrington, the Met officer in charge of policing protests in London, said: "I would like to commend my officers policing this challenging event for their professionalism and faultless co-ordination.

"I would also like to thank those participants who conducted themselves in a peaceful manner as well as Londoners and those visiting our city for their patience and tolerance."

Last year's protest resulted in 50 arrests as four police officers and six horses were injured in clashes with demonstrators.

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