Five hundred began the protest at Parliament Square at about six thirty in the morning. At 10.00am thousands more had joined them, at which point they moved themselves onto Westminster Bridge and closed it off to traffic. There were only about forty-five police officers guarding them at that time, and they were taken entirely by surprise.
It wasn’t until three in the afternoon that the police began to seriously challenge the blockade. The protesters had placed women with children in pushchairs at the front of the crowd, in the hope that this would deter the police from attacking them. Eyewitnesses report that the police responded by taking the children out of the pushchairs by force and removing them to nearby police vans, which succeeded in forcing the parents to leave the blockade so as to reclaim their children. Women and youngsters of around ten and eleven were still at the front of the protest, and the police then began attacking them. An eyewitness reported that the police were pushing women’s breasts and striking out at children with their fists. This eyewitness has scabs on his face where he says that he himself was hit by the police. It is said that representatives of the Tamil media outlet GTV were also targeted by the police and attacked physically, although no attempt was made to attack white journalists.