London: Twelve arrested as Million Mask March protesters clash with police outside Parliament on Bonfire Night

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Twelve people have been arrested after hundreds of anti-establishment protesters gathered in Parliament Square in London on Bonfire Night, before scuffles broke out with police.

Demonstrators wearing Guy Fawkes-style masks gathered at Trafalgar Square and burned an effigy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The protesters then moved to Parliament Square where fireworks appeared to be thrown towards police.

Many of the members of the movement, known as the Million Mask March, held signs protesting against coronavirus restrictions.

The Metropolitan Police said eight officers had been injured.

"A total of 12 arrests were made while policing tonight's demonstrations across London," the force tweeted.

"Those arrests were for a variety of offences.

"Eight of our officers were injured. This is unacceptable.

"The policing operation will continue into the evening."

Earlier, the Met said a dispersal order was in place for "a number of areas" across Westminster, including Parliament Square.

The force tweeted: "Officers are engaging with those in Parliament Square and will be advising them of this order."

In a separate tweet, the Met said: "A crowd in Parliament Square have been dangerously lighting fireworks and rockets.

"Some have struck people or exploded near to the crowd, this could cause very serious injury.

"We have moved into the crowd to remove any fireworks and prevent people coming to harm."

Ahead of the demonstration, the force said its officers would "work closely" with protest groups to "ensure gatherings are safe and disorder is minimised".

"As a precaution, officers will be equipped with specialist public order uniforms and a number of protective barriers have been set up outside a number of locations in London," it added.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Jane Connors said ahead of the protest: "Groups, of course, have the right to protest.

"But, I am particularly concerned that some groups are specifically intending to travel into London to deliberately cause violence and disorder including targeting police officers.

"This will not be tolerated and our policing plan has been developed with this potential risk in mind.

"Our patrols will be highly visible and we will be working closely throughout the operation with the City of London Police and the British Transport Police."

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