Thousands of Anonymous supporters– the online activist and hacking group – took part in the Million Mask, Bonfire Night March – targeting anti-capitalism – that began yesterday at 6pm in central ‘London’. Followers of the group and protest wore Guy Fawkes masks – usually worn by people who identify themselves as a part of Anonymous, and also in remembrance of Guy Fawkes. Many small groups of people chanted from various ages. Some brought posters that read “One solution: Revolution”, whilst others screamed “Whose streets? Our streets”.
Granting the protest began peacefully, things later escalated and up to three police officials have been taken to hospital and 32 people were arrested. Fireworks were launched at a police car, resulting in it setting on fire – as well as fireworks launched at police and their horses, including smoke bombs thrown on the streets. In 2014 as much as 10 people were arrested due to vandalism of public buildings and violence towards police officials, during the marches.
In retaliation to Scotland Yard implementing several restrictions on the protest, organisers of the Anonymous inspired protest said to those attending, “the police are not your friends, this goes for police liaison officers too, they’re simply a ‘friendly face’ who collect intelligence.” The restrictions are said to be in place due to the Public Order Act 1986. The Anonymous protest is just one out of a few protests that take place worldwide on ‘November 5th’. The aim is generally to fight against anti-capitalism and pro-civil liberty. Chief Superintendent Pippa Mills, of the Metropolitan Police, said: “We will always facilitate peaceful protests and have a strong history of doing so. However, over the last few this event has seen high levels of anti-social behaviour, crime and disorder.”
Ms Mills added: “It is unacceptable that a small minority should believe they have the right to break the law, harass people, damage buildings and attack police officers.”
Although there are some police who appear not too be doing their job, is it right to tarnish all police with the same brush? There is corruption everywhere but can all police be generalised? Over 20,000 people – via the Facebook group – said they were attending the protest – depicted on their website as the “World’s Largest Protest by the Most Influential Group in the World“. The website also said as many 664 cities would be partaking in the march.
The Facebook event’s bio details the frustration with “the abuses and malpractice of this Government, and governments before it“, adding the “encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear“, “profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many“, and “the Government’s disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled“.
Of course violence is not the way to go but maybe the protesters feel this is the only way to be heard, this could be their angry voice. With constant cuts to education budgets, loss of jobs and inflation forever increasing, it is no wonder things are getting out of hand. This comes at a time where David Cameron’s position in parliament is being questioned with a no confidence petition – where people are holding David Cameron responsible for causing “devastation for the poorest in society for the last 5 years“. So, how can these issues be tackled? What are your thoughts on the protest? Check out a clip of the event at the top of the page and leave a comment to let us know your thoughts.
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