Confusion and chaos hit Chinatown last night when the annual Million Mask March broke away from the prescribed demonstration route and ended up in Chinatown.
Hundreds of masked protesters were running across London last night, chased by a heavy police presence the masked demonstrators ended up being contained in Wardour Street.
This meant that police closed off the area of Chinatown and forced members of the public to leave the area. Many were confused tourists who had no idea what was happening, or why so many police were there.
Sino spoke to one outraged worker who was trying to get to a restaurant in Wardour street, he said that he thought the police were “heavy-handed” and that they “just seem to be making things worse shouting and shoving people”. He was turned away by the police who had contained the area in order to arrest protesters who were outside of the prescribed demonstration area.
Lisa, a tourist from Florida said that “seeing all these police is scary. We were worried it was another terrorist attack. They still wouldn’t say what was going on.”
The police said that they closed off the area “in order to prevent a breach of the peace”. Protesters refer to the tactic as kettling, containing groups of demonstrators in one area and searching/identifying them before they allow them to leave. The tactic has come in for a lot of criticism over the last few years.