An anti-austerity demonstration in London has ended in scuffles with police and 17 arrests. Protestors took to the streets following British Prime Minister David Cameron's re-election.
What began as a peaceful demonstration on Saturday ended in violent confrontations, with 17 people arrested and several police officers injured. None of the injuries were reported to be life-threatening.
Scuffles broke out near the gates to Downing Street, the location of the prime ministerial residence, between lines of police and demonstrators. A London police spokesman said only a few of the several-hundred demonstrators took part in the clashes.
Amid the protests, a derogatory message against the Conservative Party, calling them "Tory scum," was sprayed in red paint on a memorial to the women of World War Two. On Twitter, people who identified themselves as having taken part in the protests condemed the vandalism and violence and said it took the focus away from their message - the impact of Conservative spending cuts. One woman's placard read "health cuts equals (sic) suicides."
The hashtag #londonprotests was trending on Twitter through to Sunday morning.
Cameron's Conservative party won an outright majority in Thursday's parliamentary elections, giving them another term at the head of the government. During the past five years, Britain's government has enacted deep spending cuts.
se/gsw (dpa, Reuters)