London

Million Mask March prompts Met police disorder fears

Activists at the 2014 march Image copyright AFP

Police have voiced "serious concerns" about protesters' conduct at an annual anti-establishment demonstration.

The Million Mask March is an annual protest against government cuts and surveillance across the UK, with the largest gathering in London.

The Met Police said they were imposing conditions under the Public Order Act.

A Facebook page for the event, on Thursday, said it was intended to oppose the "encroaching destruction" of civil liberties.

Last year, the march organised by the Anonymous UK collective saw thousands gather in Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square. Ten people were arrested on suspicion of public order offences.

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Ch Supt Pippa Mills said: "This year, we have strong reason to believe that peaceful protest is the last thing on the minds of many of the people who will come along."

She explained conditions were being placed on the protest because "we have such serious concerns".

The police have specified:

  • The march must not start before 18:00 GMT and must finish at 21:00;
  • Attendees should stick to a particular route between Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square;
  • Officers have the power to make protesters remove facial coverings.

The event has this year also been publicised with regard to concerns over "pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state".

Protests are expected across the world, with demonstrations expected to take place in countries including Cambodia, Chile, Canada, America and Mexico.

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