Protest at Justice Bill turns violent: Small group tries to storm Downing Street gates as environmentalists, ramblers and ravers demonstrate in carnival spirit

ELEVEN people were arrested yesterday after violence broke out between police and civil rights demonstrators as thousands marched through central London.

The clashes came when demonstrators tried to storm the gates of Downing Street during a march against the Criminal Justice and Public Order Bill.

More than 35,000 people from a wide spectrum of groups including environmentalists, ramblers and ravers tramped through central London during a largely peaceful demonstration.

Environmentalists oppose the Bill because some clauses will effectively ensure that virtually any form of protest on private land will be a criminal offence. Ramblers oppose it because it significantly curtails their ability to walk in the countryside where no footpath exists. And civil rights groups are against the Bill because they regard it as attacking minority groups such as gypsies, travellers and rave partygoers.

The trouble started when protesters reached Whitehall. At 3.45pm a group of several hundred people stopped at the entrance to Downing Street and hurled bottles, cans and abuse at the police. Ignoring the pleas of the stewards for non-violent protest a mob of about 50 people tried to storm through the gates to Downing Street. Seventy police in full riot- gear including a dozen on horseback, drove a wedge through the protesters and forced them back.

Stewards, organised by Advance Party, an umbrella organisation representing ravers and party-goers, tried to keep the march moving and place themselves between the protesters and police. The police returned to Downing Street and Richmond Terrace opposite only to charge the protesters again five minutes later. Once again the stewards pleaded with the police and the violent element of the demonstrators to stop fighting. However, after 15 minutes violence flared again as a group of marchers again tried to storm Downing Street and were forced back by riot police. After a brief stand-off the protesters carried on to Trafalgar Square. Police closed Trafalgar Square for about three hours to allow the protesters to disperse peacefully.

The police said: 'We have in excess of 20,000 demonstrators. The vast majority of which were peaceful and well-intentioned. There were a few who decided to cause trouble and we had mounted police to deal with that situation.'

Six sound systems accompanied the march which resembled a carnival. Men on stilts handed out leaflets preaching non-violence. Advance Party and the Socialist Workers Party organised the march.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Metail Ltd: Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific

£35,000 - £40,000 based on experience : Metail Ltd: As a Business Development ...

Guru Careers: Product Manager / Product Owner

£30 - 40k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: A Product Manager / Product ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Lettings Manager - Chinese Speaking

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate