- Hundreds of hooded and masked activists caused violent chaos in London's busiest areas
- Anarchists shot paint bombs and light bulbs filled with ammonia at police officers
- Anti-capitalist hooligans stormed Ritz, smashed windows at HSBC
- Labor leader says protests are like anti-apartheid movement
- Otherwise, a mostly peaceful day
About half a million protesters descended on London today objecting to Prime Minister David Cameron's austerity measures, as The Blaze reported here. While most of these protesters remained peaceful, off-shoot groups of hooded and masked anarchists wreaked havoc on the streets of London, clashing violently with riot police.
According to the Daily Mail, hundreds of activists caused violent chaos in some of the busiest sections of London, like Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
The Daily Mail reports:
Hundreds of activists - many wearing masks and hoods - disrupted traffic, set off fireworks and flares in the busiest areas of the city including Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Street and Regent Street.
Lightbulbs filled with ammonia and paintbombs were thrown at police as they desperately tried to keep the peace.
Topshop and HSBC had their windows smashed, while paint and glass bottles were thrown at a Royal Bank of Scotland branch. The marauders also attacked The Ritz near Green Park, where they smashed windows with bins and road signs.
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UK Uncut, an anti-cuts direct action group, later occupied the Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly, claiming the firm had 'dodged' paying taxes.
Nine arrests were made and some police officers were injured.
In a speech to the thousands of peaceful protesters, labor leader Ed Miliband likened today's protest in London to the anti-apartheid movement. He also compared London's protesters to the civil rights activists of the 1960s and the women's rights activists of over a century ago.
"We come in the tradition of movements that have marched in peaceful but powerful protest for justice, fairness and political change," he said.
The suffragettes fought for women's equality; the civil rights activists fought racism; and the anti-apartheid protesters fought a morally bankrupt system.
What are the London protesters fighting for?
Quoting Miliband: "Our struggle is to fight to preserve, protect and defend the best of the services we cherish..."
As the sun sets on this side of the pond, the violence of the anarchists is likely to continue through nightfall. So far, five police officers have been injured--one seriously--trying to bring order to London.