Eight people have been arrested during May Day protests in Brighton and Hove today (Saturday 30 April).
Two of the arrests were for assault while most of the rest were for public order offences.
About 200 protesters are estimated to have taken part from a variety of protest groups.
The day started with 20 cyclists from Critical Mass riding from The Level to the seafront in Hove before joining those gathered on the promenade by the West Pier at noon.
The demonstrators came to a standstill at the junction of Ship Street and Duke Street as they marched towards Brighton Town Hall.
At this point police kettled the protesters and carried out a search for weapons and made the first arrests.
The group were then escorted by police down North Street towards Pavilion Gardens at which point people were breaking off into a number of smaller groups
One group of protesters sat in the road along the seafront near the Aquarium roundabout causing traffic disruption on the A259.
Other groups went to Churchill Square, Queen’s Road, the Clock Tower and the beach.
A protest group formed outside Top Shop in Western Road before moving on to Vodafone and Churchill Square, escorted by police.
A small group was also kettled shortly after 5pm outside C&H Fabrics after they tried to protest outside Top Shop in Western Road.
Sussex Police said that during the afternoon the following people were arrested
- A man, 25, who refused to give his address, was arrested on suspicion of violent disorder after the TUC march in London last month
- A man, 23, from Chiselhurst, Kent, was arrested for using threatening and abusive language
- A woman, 22, from Macclesfield, Cheshire, was arrested for failing to remove a face mask
- A man, 28, from Brighton, was also arrested for failing to remove a face mask
- A man, 30, who refused to give his address, was arrested for assaulting and obstructing police
- A man, 25, who refused to give his address, was arrested for assault, obstructing and resisting a police officer
- A man, 18, who refused to give his address, was arrested for common assault and using abusive language
- A man, 28, from Brighton, was arrested for failing to surrender his alcohol in contravention of the designated public place order
Chief Superintendent Graham Bartlett said: “We are happy to facilitate peaceful protest and welcome people coming to the city to express their views.
“Despite public appeals by ourselves and other people to the organisers to consider the consequences of their actions on the local community and businesses, they failed to co-operate and have been intent on causing disruption.
“They refused to follow a procession and broke off into several smaller groups making it difficult for police to provide a safe and secure environment for protesters and the public.
“This was the second protest over the two bank holiday weekends and the actions of the protesters could have impacted on shops and businesses during a difficult financial time.
“We have to balance the rights of the protesters and the rights of others who want to go about their everyday business.”
About 200 officers were deployed to police the protests, with a heavy police presence in Western Road.
Mounted officers from Thames Valley Police provided support on horseback.
Those taking part in the protests include activists form the South Coast Climate Camp which has spent the past week squatting in a former school in Lewes.
Other groups include Brighton Uncut. One protester said: “If the authorities were as determined to pursue the likes of Vodafone and Top Shop owner Philip Green over their taxes as they were to kettle people like us, there would be fewer police officers losing their jobs at the moment.”