BREAKING NEWS: LONDON: Hundreds Strong Mob Attempt To Hijack Peaceful Anti-Cuts Protest

26 Mar

Hundreds of people attempted to hijack the main anti-cuts demonstration to wreak havoc in London’s West End.

Mob tried to hijack cuts protest Enlarge photo

Police were attacked as they tried to stop activists smashing their way into banks and shops. Their action was in stark contrast to and separate from the main TUC rally in Hyde Park which was good natured and passed off peacefully.

Campaign group UK Uncut claimed around 200 of its supporters forced themselves into luxury store Fortnum and Mason – known as the Queen’s grocer.

A spokesman for the demonstrators said the target was chosen because “they dodge tens of millions in tax”.

Branches of HSBC, RBS, Santander and Topshop were among those to have their windows smashed.

Police spent hours following the mob as they caused damage throughout the UK’s busiest shopping district.

Commander Bob Broadhurst, who led the police operation, said: “I wouldn’t call them protesters. They are engaging in criminal activities for their own ends.”

He added: “We anticipated there would be some problems. We have minimised the damage caused. We’ll never have enough officers to protect every building in central London. It cannot be done.”

Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned the violence which erupted away from the march, saying: “Hundreds of thousands of people peacefully protested today.

“They are the true voice of today’s march. I unequivocally condemn those who have committed acts of violence. There is no excuse for it. It is unlawful and wrong.”

NEWS UPDATE ADDITION:

Thousands of anti-cuts campaigners took to the streets of Belfast in a union-organised demonstration.

Thousands join anti-cuts march Enlarge photo

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) estimated that 6,000 took part in the rally in front of City Hall.

It was timed to coincide with the protests in London.

ICTU assistant general secretary Peter Bunting said the next Stormont Executive should join with the other devolved administrations in the UK to form a united front against cuts from the Treasury.

“The cuts and the meanness and the transfer of wealth from the people to the plutocrats must be stopped and will be reversed,” he told the rally “This half-baked plan to ‘rebalance’ the economy is half-witted.

“Austerity means poverty for the already poor and the millions who are threatened by poverty, with frozen wages and inflation soaring and stealth taxes for those who cannot afford any more pain.

“Cuts in health and education will hurt the vulnerable, from the very young to the very old.”

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