Thousands of masked protesters marched through the streets of central London for the annual Million Mask March.
Angry demonstrators wearing Guido Fawkes masks, made popular by the cult film V For Vendetta, took to the streets around Westminster chanting pro civil liberty and anti-establishment songs.
Fireworks were let off along the route of the march from Trafalgar Square and beyond Parliament and College Green, while others held up bright red flares and one person was even photographed burning an American flag.
Thousands of protesters gathered in London for the annual Million Mask March which took place in the capital this evening
Demonstrators burn the American flag at the protest in central London. Some chanted ‘Tory scum’ and other anti-establishment slogans
The event was the annual march which is organised by notorious hacking collective Anonymous, held on November 5 every year.
Protesters were given a strict route between Trafalgar Square and Whitehall by police for the march and ordered to take place between 6pm and 9pm. Warnings were projected onto nearby buildings, informing marchers they would be arrested and prosecuted for breaching the conditions outlined by police.
They yelled ‘Tory scum’ as they set off flares and fireworks near famous London landmarks like Trafalgar Square, Downing Streets and the Houses of Parliament.
One firework was shot across the green near Parliament Square, towards the status of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
Another of the demonstrators wearing a black Guido Fawkes mask was confronted by at least four police officers as he held up a green flare.
At least 18 protesters were arrested at the event, with the majority held on public order offences, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
Police immediately arrested one man for lighting a flare outside parliament while another was arrested for confronting officers near Downing Street.
The march has been marred in recent years by violent scenes of protesters and police clashing, yet pubs along the route remained open.
A police officer holds up a knife that is believed to have been found on a protester near the fortified barriers near Downing Street
Some protesters wearing Guido Fawkes masks turned up to the march with Antifa flags and banners an scaled Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square
This protester, wearing a mask of Theresa May, held up a banner urging the prime minister to not let US president Donald Trump into the UK
Flares were let off along the route which took place between Whitehall and Trafalgar Square. Prior to the march, a post on the Facebook event page said that ‘police are not your friends’
Fireworks were let off along the route of the march from Trafalgar Square and beyond Parliament and College Green, while others held up bright red flares and one person was even photographed burning an American flag
Protesters took placards with them to the demonstration to protest against the state of the world and the perceived erosion of civil liberties
A protester sits on one of the lions in Trafalgar Square, London, during the Million Mask March bonfire night protest organised by activist group Anonymous
Protesters demonstrate in Trafalgar Square, London, during the Million Mask March bonfire night protest organised by activist group Anonymous
The Metropolitan Police were dispatched to the scene wearing full riot gear in case of the event that things were to turn violent
Helicopters were dispatched for the event and police in riot gear were deployed in eventuality that the event were to turn sour.
Prior to the march, a post on the Facebook event page said that ‘police are not your friends’.
It continued: ‘We have seen the abuses and malpractice of this government, and governments before it.
‘We have seen the encroaching destruction of many civil liberties we hold dear, we have seen the pushes to make the internet yet another part of the surveillance state.
‘We have seen the Government’s disregard for migrants, for the poor, the elderly and the disabled, we have seen the capital, profit and greed of the few put before the wellbeing of the many and we say enough is enough.’
The protest took place near the Houses of Parliament and virtually brought Westminster and the surrounding area to a standstill
Police struggle to contain crowds along the march route while others hold up their camera phones and Palestinian flags
It finishes: ‘The Government and the 1% have played their hand. Now it’s time to play ours. Expect us.’
At the march, protesters Mili Carnevale, 32, from Buenos Aires in Argentina, joined the crowds to protest with her partner Nano Pilota from Madrid, said the event was ‘quieter than normal’.
Pilota added: ‘It’s very calm. I’ve not seen any violence. I’m not sure why that is.’
One police officer, who worked at last year’s march, described the attendance as ‘pitiful’.