The violence perpetrated against so many around me over that hour was sickening and terrifying. Without warning, from around midnight, the police repeatedly and violently surged forwards in full riot gear, occasionally rampaging through the protest line and deliberately destroying protesters’ property, some officers openly screaming in pumped-up rage. Outside the Bank of England, thousands were held for up to eight hours behind a police cordon, in a practice known as ‘kettling’. Parents with children and passers-by were told by officers on the cordon that ‘no one could leave’.
As Mae West said: ‘Every man I ever met wanted to protect me. It made me wonder from what.’