Million Mask March

Thousands of people take the streets in London for the 5th of November March.

On the 5th of November 2015 I had the pleasure to assist and report the Million Mask March that had place in London as well as many other cities in the world. It is an anticapitalist movement, anti system, against human oppression, and, as they say ‘people that use their wealth for evil, the warmongers, the slumlords, the polluters, the abusers, the corrupt politicians…’

It was my first protest in the UK so I was quite excited and ready to take lots of pictures for my article in our university magazine called Politricks. I went there with Jack, ‘my editor’, and another classmate calle Shingarai, responsible for the interviews.

Jack arrived earlier than us and managed to get to the very first front of the march. Shingarai and I were trying to catch up but the people were moving fast. It seemed like a peaceful protest, really disorganised as there were small groups of people all over the place not knowing where to go.
Just outside the Buckingham Palace mounted police were blocking the way. Protesters were scaring the horses by throwing at them fireworks so they would step back and we would move forward.
Every time this happened it was like a victory, everyone was shouting and celebrating it, I was proud of it as well even tho I really felt sorry for the animals. I do believe that police should not take animals to a protest, especially a protest famous for its violence at the end. But then again, Shouldn’t they stop using animals at all? It’s medieval.

I found my mate Jack taking some pictures there. At some point I nearly got run over by a horse. Police were moving forward towards us and there was no space to step back because of the amount of people.
I was getting frustrated because my pictures were all blurry due the light conditions and the speed of the march.
Finally, they let us carry on. They stayed there, guarding the doors and we went through Green Park to Piccadilly.  People were stopping traffic by walking on the roads while singing ‘Whose street? Our street!’. Even though it was scary I was having a great time. I really missed going to protests, I used to do it in Madrid a lot.

Someone broke a shopwindow and the alarm went on. Only a few people were being violent trying to destroy things on their way, mainly kicking bins and taking traffic cones. Others were hitting bus and taxi windows on the road, scaring and angering both passengers and drivers.
We followed the crowd to Mayfair, where police were trying to dissolve the protest as we were not allowed to continue after 9. Police were closing the roads and blocking the access in many places. They were trying to surround us but there were too many of us. They went for smaller groups instead. I got kettled at the church in Langham Place with around 15 other people. I kept asking different police officers if I could go, but the answer was always no. They started to explain us that they would take us with them, would take all our personal details and we would have to fill out some form. I was getting desperate. I texted my other classmates and asked for help. I was constantly thinking of a way to try to run away and the consequences. Maybe one or two would run after me and if they catch me it would be much worse.

Jack got there and tried to speak to a police officer but got the same answer. Then the officer said ‘try to speak to the guys with the forms’ so I did. And they sent me to the other police officers at the left. And these ones sent me to the first guy I spoke to. I was explaining everyone that I was just working for the uni magazine, not actually participating, but everyone was just dragging their feet over it and not giving me a final answer. When I went to the first guy again he said ‘Right… Where is your boyfriend? tell him you can go’. I said ‘He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my editor!’ And we happily left.

What an exciting day, full of adrenaline and fun moments. We might have not changed the world but I guess it’s still the beginning of it.

Published by

Monica S.

Journalist, activist, thinker. MA in international Journalism. Life is better with a dog.

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