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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# fightback
Anti-austerity protesters clash with police near Downing Street
Protesters threw smoke bombs and arrests were made.

Updated 12.52pm

RT / YouTube

15 PEOPLE WERE arrested after clashes at an unplanned anti-austerity and anti-Tory protest in London yesterday.

The confrontations took place close to Downing Street with Met Police saying two police officers were hospitalised after the clashes, one with a suspected dislocated shoulder. Three others were also injured.

Protesters also say they were manhandled and injured during the clashes.

All those arrested have been released on bail, pending further analysis of CCTV footage, except for a 24-year-old man who was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer.

The protests come days after the Conservative Party was returned to power in Westminster with an overall majority.

Anti-austerity protest Rick Findler Rick Findler

The protesters carried posters saying ‘Tory Scum’ with a World War 2 memorial also graffitied. Police say an investigation has been launched into the damage to the memorial.

The protests took place on the weekend that commemorations are taking place to mark 70 years since VE day.

Anti-austerity protest Rick Findler A memorial was graffitied during yesterday's protest. Rick Findler

Chief Superintendent Gerry Campbell said most of the protests were peaceful:

The vast majority of those protesting did so peacefully however a small minority were intent on causing disorder and engaged in violence, injuring five officers and staff – two of which required hospital treatment.

He added that an investigation has been launched after a World War II memorial was damaged.

“This is particularly abhorrent considering we are celebrating the 70th Anniversary of VE Day,” he said.

The crowds were protesting over a combination of factors, ranging from the implementation of austerity measures to the recently formed majority Conservative government.

One protester told The Telegraph that the protest was “against the savage welfare cuts of the Tories,” adding that:

“This is a movement that is going to get bigger and bigger and people will have to stand up and take notice. We want to bring the scale of the poll tax protests to demonstrations like this.”

Anti-austerity protest PA Wire / Press Association Images Demonstrators at yesterday's an anti-austerity protest. PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Anti-austerity protest PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Anti-austerity protest PA Wire / Press Association Images Police pictured during the anti-austerity protest in central London. PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Additional reporting by Nicky Ryan. Originally published 11.16am.

Read: How Nicola Sturgeon emerged as a star of the UK election >

Read: Russell Brand backs Ed Miliband: ‘You gotta vote Labour’ >

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