Violence flares at May Day protests

Despite protests remaining calm for most of the day, demonstrations marking a day of anti-capitalist action have flared at Oxford Circus.

Police cordoned off an area around the normally congested road junction where Regent Street and Oxford Street intersect. In an effort to contain an estimated 2,000 demonstrators, police used batons.

Police on the ground said people were being held at the road junction because of damaged property and a breach of the peace.

Away from the central area, the mood remains calm.

Earlier today the protests started in the City when cyclists gathered outside Liverpool Street Station where they began a mass rush-hour ride in protest against car culture.

They progressed to Kings Cross station where activists handed out free ‘veggie’ burgers outside fast food chain McDonalds. Between 600 and 700 people brought Euston Road to a standstill. Under police escort, the group then moved towards Euston station.

There police penned in 300 May Day protestors outside the London headquarters of Grant Thornton.

The protestors, who were noisy but peaceful, were kept there by about 400 police officers. Protestors were hemmed in outside the Euston office while the police extracted individuals for body searches.

The protestors are banging drums and chanting ‘let us out’.

A spokesperson said the firm was planning to allow people to go home.

Further South, PricewaterhouseCoopers successfully repelled a group of May Day protestors who attempted to gain entry to the firm’s headquarters at Embankment Place, above Charing Cross station, writes Philip Smith.

A spokesperson for the firm confirmed a group of six protestors had been denied access as they had been spotted by security guards who swiftly locked the main entrance.

‘No expulsions were necessary,’ the spokesperson said, adding that the firm had heightened security at all of its offices.


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