SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Scuffles have broken out between police and anti-austerity demonstrators on the streets of the British capital, London.
The Million Mask March, organized by a hacktivist group called Anonymous, is currently underway in central London.
The protests target government austerity measures, mass surveillance programs, and its attacks on human rights.
Similar demonstrations have been organized in hundreds of cities around the world.
Scores of riot police have been stationed around Trafalgar Square, where protesters had gathered to start the march towards the Houses of Parliament.
The participants of the march cover their faces with masks so that they cannot be identified.
Last year, over 2,000 people attended a similar event but British police fear this year’s march could attract far more participants.
On the eve of the march, Anonymous sent a message to “world bodies of power.”
“To oppressive governments, we say this: we do not expect our campaign to be completed in a short time frame. However, you will not prevail against the angry masses,” a part of the message read.
Anonymous members said British government officials have “made an enemy of Anonymous,” and “angered them considerably.”
The current UK government launched austerity measures when it came to power in 2010 in a bid to tackle the country’s mounting debt and sluggish growth, but the policies have sparked opposition and public protests in recent years.
The UK government also came under pressure over a phone hacking scandal, in which phone communications were intercepted between 2000 and 2006.