Million Mask March London 2017: Police warn, activists be arrested in act of violence

Million Mask Marches are set to take place across the world, with the biggest said to be in London.

Police have warned thousands of masked protesters preparing to descend on central London on Bonfire night that they will be arrested for any acts of violence.

Clad in Guy Fawkes masks, supporters of Anonymous, the anarchic hacking collective, are expected at the annual Million Mask March from about 6pm on Sunday.

Police are ramping up their efforts on the night amid concerns “peaceful protest is the last thing on the minds of some of those attending”.

Participants must follow the directions of police even if the route is varied and risk arrest if they do not. There will also be a lockdown on vehicles as part of the procession.

In the midst of fears of repeats of the violence seen in recent years, Chief Superintendent Elaine Van-Orden said: “We have strong reasons to believe that peaceful protest is the last thing on the minds of some of those who will attend.”

“Criminality at the event has increased year-on-year. Arrests have increased from four in 2012 to 53 in 2016. Last year, a number of fireworks and flares were lit and thrown into the crowds in Trafalgar Square and aimed towards police officers.”

“Those who choose to behave like this are not protestors, they are committing criminal acts and we will endeavour to deal with them.”

“We therefore have such serious concerns about this event on Sunday, 5 November, that we have made the decision to impose conditions under the Public Order Act.

“Our message, as it was last year, is simple: If you wish to protest peacefully, that is your right and we want to work with you. If you commit criminal acts or breach the conditions of the event, you are liable to be arrested.”

A Facebook group promoting the march lists 777 people as attending with a further 1,200 “interested.” Which satesa “We have seen the abuses and malpractice of this government and governments before it, and we have seen the encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear.

“We have seen the pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state, we have seen the government’s disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the well-being of the many and we say enough is enough.

“The government and the 1% have played their hand, now it is time to play ours.”

Police have imposed conditions on the march, limiting it to a three-hour period between 6pm and 9pm on a prescribed route between Trafalgar Square and Whitehall.

Any static protest must only take place in Trafalgar Square, Richmond Terrace and Parliament Square and the Met warned anyone breaching the conditions could be arrested for public order offences.

Image Source: Getty Images

by Israt Yasmin, The Blogging Connection

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