What you need to know about London's Million Mask March on Bonfire Night

 
Alys Key
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Anonymous Hold Their Annual Million Mask March On Bonfire Night
Police will be out in force amid fears of criminal behaviour (Source: Getty)

It is a busy weekend for London, with fireworks displays across the capital.

In addition to the crowds coming to watch the celebrations, a march is set to take place on Sunday evening, called the Million Mask March.

What is it?

Hacker-cum-activist group Anonymous has called for “a festival of lulz and resistance” to mark opposition to the establishment and to voice grievances over alleged censorship and other issues. It is a regular event held on Bonfire Night every year.

This year the Facebook page for the London event encourages "activists, the workers, the students, all doctors, nurses and all those that want to see a positive change in the world" to join the march.

Some attendees wear "Guy Fawkes masks", inspired by the film V for Vendetta in which the masks are a symbol of popular uprising.

When is it?

The annual protest takes place on 5 November every year and 2017 is no exception, with Anonymous calling for people to take to the streets on Sunday. The London march will take place between 6pm and 9pm.

Where is it?

The Million Mask March will be held wherever enough people get together to do it, with protests expected in 800 locations worldwide. In London, protestors are bound for Trafalgar Square where they will gather before setting off on a route to pass by parliament.

Will roads be closed?

Protestors have been instructed to keep strictly to the route, which goes down Northumberland Avenue, and along Victoria Embankment to Parliament Square. The march then progresses to Whitehall and concludes at Millbank.

Roads in the St James's Park area will be closed from mid-afternoon, while other roads could be fully closed if deemed necessary. Movement around the area is expected to be slow on Sunday night. TfL's traffic status updates page will show any closures as they are enforced. The police map of the affected area is below.

Will the protest be peaceful?

The event page for the march makes no mention of iniciting violence or anti-social behaviour, but the Metropolian police have said that they will be on high alert.

“Criminality at the event has increased year-on-year," said Chief Superintendent Elaine Van-Orden. "Arrests have increased from four in 2012 to 53 in 2016. Last year, a number of fireworks and flares were lit and thrown into the crowds in Trafalgar Square and aimed towards police officers."

In response, the police have imposed conditions under the public order act, instructing participants to stick to the pre-agreed route and follow police instructions or risk being arrested.

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