Thousands of protesters took part in the Million Mask March in central London on Thursday (5 November), which ended amid violent clashes with the police. Many of the protestors wore the Guy Fawkes mask that has become synonymous with the Anonymous activist group.
Beginning in Trafalgar Square the demonstrators marched past the prime minister's residence at Downing Street before gathering outside the Houses of Parliament. "We're here for equality, against censorship and we believe we should be one people," said one protester, who had dressed as Jesus.
"Anonymous stands for freedom. We all have the right to protest, we have the right to a free life. We have the right for the government being open with us and telling us what they're doing. Everyone should be equal, they shouldn't be higher. They shouldn't be able to look down on us. They shouldn't be allowed to treat us like criminals," said another.
But the demonstration soon turned violent, with fireworks being hurled and some demonstrators bloodied as police and mounted officers formed defensive lines along sections of Westminster closed off to protesters.
Scotland Yard's Cdr Ben-Julian Harrington, the officer in charge of policing protests in London, vowed to bring to justice the dozens of activists arrested for offences, including two for assaulting police officers, describing the events as a "completely unacceptable" night of violence.
Out of the 50 arrests, at least 27 protesters were held for public order offences and two for assaulting police officers, Scotland Yard said. Three men were arrested before the march began after a police search turned up knives, smoke and paint grenades, gas canisters and lock picks. The three men, aged 38, 55 and 50, were held at a central London police station on suspicion of being in possession of offensive weapons.