Sunday 10 May 2015

Scuffles At London Anti-Austerity Protest

Seventeen people have been arrested as protesters clashed with police at an anti-austerity demonstration outside Downing Street.

The Women's War Memorial in Whitehall was defaced with graffiti during the unplanned rally, which started outside Conservative campaign headquarters.
The crowd then moved on to Downing Street to voice their anger at David Cameron's party, a day after he claimed victory in the General Election.
Police estimated 100 people had taken part in the mainly peaceful demonstration, although photographs from the scene suggested nearer 10 times that number were involved.
Scotland Yard said four officers and a member of police staff were injured.
One officer was treated for a suspected dislocated shoulder, while the member of staff suffered a cut lip after being struck by an object.
The force said three other officers were assaulted but did not need hospital treatment.
A Metropolitan Police statement said officers had used a "containment" - also known as kettling - to quell the disturbances.
"A number of protesters engaged in violence and disorder and a containment was put in place to prevent any further breach of the peace," the statement said.
Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell said: "The vast majority of those protesting did so peacefully however a small minority were intent on causing disorder and engaged in violence, injuring five officers and staff - two of which required hospital treatment.
"We have launched an investigation into criminal damage to the Women in World War II Memorial. This is particularly abhorrent considering we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of VE Day."
No members of the public are believed to have been hurt although some social media users claimed heavy-handed police tactics had caused the scuffles.
Twitter user Couve wrote:"Large, mainly peaceful protest. Aggravated by unnecessary force, overreaction and kettling by the police."
The force previously said four of those who were arrested were being held for a variety of offences under the Public Order Act.
Another was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.
The damage caused to the war memorial was condemned by Downing Street as "despicable".
"F*** Tory scum" was scrawled in red near the bottom of the monument, which is a short distance away from a VE Day celebration concert at Horse Guards Parade.
A Downing Street spokesman said: "Spraying graffiti on war memorials is a despicable display of disrespect for those who fought and died for their country, particularly at a time when the whole nation comes together to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day."
In Cardiff, anti-Tory protesters took part in a rally at the Aneurin Bevan statue in Queen Street.
Singer Charlotte Church was among the estimated 200 people to take part.
She was pictured with a placard which read: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more."
A group calling itself The People's Assembly Against Austerity claims it is organising another demonstration in the capital on 20 June.

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