British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned “racist thuggery” after far-right protesters clashed in London on Saturday with anti-racist demonstrators and police trying to keep the two sides apart.
Fights broke out between groups outside Waterloo station, with fireworks thrown before police cordoned off areas. On a nearby bridge, stones were lobbed at police. Sporadic skirmishes continued in parts of the city centre.
“Racist thuggery has no place on our streets,” Johnson said on Twitter. “Anyone attacking our police will be met with the full force of the law.”
Earlier in the day, small bands of protesters jostled and tossed bottles and cans in Trafalgar Square. Far-right groups shouted racial slurs at the anti-racism protesters, and some tried to use metal crash barriers to break through police lines.
The Metropolitan Police said they arrested more than 100 people for offences including violent disorder and assault on police, and that six officers had suffered minor injuries. The ambulance service said it had treated 15 people.
“It is clear that far-right groups are causing violence and disorder in central London, I urge people to stay away,” Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Twitter.
In a brief respite to the animosity after the clashes near Waterloo, pictures showed a man identified by the crowd as a far-right protester being carried to safety by a Black Lives Matter protester.
The police, who had already imposed a restriction calling for all demonstrations to end by 5 p.m., urged people to disperse.
Police also said they would investigate after images on social media appeared to show a man urinating on PC Keith Palmer’s memorial. Palmer, a police officer, was stabbed to death in an attack outside Parliament in 2017.
There have been demonstrations around the world against racism and police abuses since the death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. In British cities tens of thousands of people have marched peacefully during previous days of protest.