Thousands of protesters took to the streets in London on Tuesday as part of the Million Mask March, an event organized by the Hacktivist group Anonymous. Mehdi Hasan, Political Editor at Huffington Post UK, joined HuffPost Live’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin to discuss the scale and nature of the protests.
British comedian Russell Brand was among those marching on Downing Street, sporting Guy Fawkes masks and protesting corruption and injustice in the British government.
Hasan noted that while the protests on Tuesday were substantial, they were not on the scale of similar movements across Europe.
“The British public really doesn't have a tradition of taking to the streets in the same way that some of our continental cousins do,” he said. "And a lot of people on the Left here have been frustrated that we haven’t had the kind of protests against austerity that some thought we might have, given the level of spending cuts, given the level of unemployment, given the fact there are one million young people out of work in this country.”
Hasan points to these arrests as a barrier for staging peaceful protests in the country: “The increase in riot-type police who appear at any type of public protest now makes it much harder for young people in particular to protest peacefully. It always ratchets up the prospect of violence. I think it has become very hard to express dissent in any other kind of way which doesn’t result in a police crackdown and people therefore are seething below the surface. “
To learn more listen to the full interview above.