Protesters clash with London police in labor rally
Scuffles have broken out in London between police officers and activists during a demonstration against labor conditions for retail workers.
A crowd of up to 200 people held a demonstration Saturday against Topshop and Sir Philip Green, the chairman of the Arcadia group that owns the store.
They congregated in the road outside the company’s flagship store, bringing traffic to a standstill on the renowned Oxford Street.
The protesters, who came out as part of a campaign for a real living wage for cleaners at the fashion retailer, were chanting, “Topshop, shame on you.”
“Two Topshop cleaners joined our union. For that, one was sacked, the other suspended,” said Teresa Grey, of the United Voices of the World trade union.
“We want our voices heard. This is a class war,” Aysan Dennis, from protest group Class War, said.
After police moved the protesters out of Oxford Circus, they marched down Oxford Street, rushing towards the entrance of a John Lewis store where police stopped them entering.
Some of the demonstrators, who were wearing masks, lit red smoke bombs as bewildered shoppers watched on.
They then stopped outside the Marble Arch branch of Topshop, where they chanted slogans and beat drums, forcing the store to close its shutters.
The protesters called on the department store’s new owner to drop planned mass layoffs and job cuts.