“So where are the angry crowds, the demonstrations, sit-ins and unruly mobs?” she writes.
“After all, the injustice is apparent. Working people are losing their homes and their pensions
while robber-baron CEOs report renewed profits and windfall bonuses. Shouldn’t the
unemployed be on the march? Why aren’t they demanding enhanced safety net protections
and big initiatives to generate jobs?” Frances Fox_Pivens
- Hooded anarchists attack London landmarks linked to luxury and wealth
Trouble continued to flare late into the night as hundreds of people attempted to hijack yesterday’s massive anti government cuts demonstration in central London.
Riot police fought activists in Trafalgar Square as violent protesters threatened to overshadow the TUC rally in Hyde Park which had earlier passed off peacefully.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said between 200 and 300 people had gathered at the landmark location late this evening.
Riot: Police officers stand in front of a fire lit be demonstrators in central London last night
He said: ‘A large number from the crowd are throwing missiles and have attempted to damage the Olympic clock within the square.
‘Officers have come under sustained attack as they deal with the disorder and attempted criminal damage.’
In stark contrast, the daytime demonstration was hailed a ‘fantastic success’ by trade unions as people from across the UK marched through central London.
Organisers estimated between 400,000 and 500,000 teachers, nurses, firefighters, council and NHS workers, other public sector employees, students, pensioners and campaign groups converged on the capital.
Union officials and Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned the ‘brutal’ cuts in jobs and services.
Police officers stand in front of a fire lit by rioters
Nightfall: Riot police form lines in front of burning dustbins as they try to control protesters run rampage after the TUC’s anti-cuts demonstrations (left) and protesters occupy Trafalgar Square last night
But during the good-natured protest hundreds of activists not connected with the union rally clashed with police in the West End.
Officers were attacked as they tried to stop demonstrators smashing their way into banks and shops.
The protesters surged along Piccadilly, Regent Street and Oxford Street, chanting ‘welfare not warfare’ as they blocked traffic and forced shops to close.
Paint, fireworks and flares were thrown at buildings, while the outnumbered police were attacked with large pieces of wood.
Branches of HSBC, RBS, Santander and Topshop were among those to have their windows smashed.
Civil disobedience: Demonstrators use a giant road sign to smash through a plate glass window at the Ritz Hotel
Scotland Yard said lightbulbs filled with ammonia were also thrown at their officers.
The police often had to step aside as the activists continued their destruction late into the evening.
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’.
Under siege: Anti-capitalist protesters surround Fortnum & Mason, climbing on the roof to daub activist graffiti before making their way inside
‘Tax the rich’: Campaigners claim they targeted Fortnum & Mason because its owners are at the centre of a £40million tax avoidance row
The Met said 202 people had been arrested for a variety of offences including public order offences, criminal damage, aggravated trespass and violent disorder, but the number looked set to rise further.
All those detained remained in custody at various London police stations.
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.’
Sit in: Police finally cleared the store of protesters at about 7pm last night
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.’
He added that video evidence would be used in an attempt to make arrests in the coming days.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said he ‘bitterly regretted’ the violence, adding that he hoped it would not detract from the massive anti-cuts protest.
One rioter tries to break a window at a HSBC bank in Cambridge Circus, central London
Attack: Police forced back about 30 protesters, whose faces were covered by balaclavas and scarves, after several of the ground floor windows were smashed
‘I don’t think the activities of a few hundred people should take the focus away from the hundreds of thousands of people who have sent a powerful message to the Government today,’ Mr Barber said.
‘Ministers should now seriously reconsider their whole strategy after last night’s demonstration. This has been Middle Britain speaking,’ he added.
Mr Barber said unions would now step up pressure on the Government, especially MPs in their constituencies, and launch a series of protests next week in defence of the NHS.