More than 300 people have been severely injured during a violent anti-Valentine’s Day protest march in Trafalgar Square yesterday afternoon, say police.
The march, which was organised by London’s single community as a show of defiance against the celebration of a day devoted to love, romance and affection, is thought to have turned ugly when the group tried to march past a card shop at around lunchtime.
“All we could see in the shop was heart-shaped balloons, little teddy bears clutching big red hearts, and a ridiculous number of cards,” said Julian Reynolds, 29, a singleton of more than four years, who saw the escalating violence.
“It’s like they were trying to rub our noses in it. I’m not sure who started it, but before long people were kicking in the window and attacking the Valentine’s Day paraphenalia with their hands and teeth. Everyone was pretty upset about the whole thing. At one point I saw a grown man throttling a Special Edition Valentine’s Winnie the Pooh toy with his bare hands.”
Before long the protestors were holding running battles with police, hurling Love Hearts and chocolates at officers. “Look, I know that getting in the riot police to deal with a bunch of people throwing around sweets might look harsh,” said a police spokesperson.
“But the fact of the matter is that in the wrong hands, a Love Heart can be a deadly missile. One of our officers nearly had his eye taken out.”
Alan Stewart, who founded the London Society of Singles (LSS), the organisers of the march, apologised for the clashes, but argued that violence was an inevitable consequence of the pent-up anger and frustration his members were experiencing.
“We were protesting against having to put up with everyone else we know banging on over Facebook and Twitter about having breakfast in bed, cooking a special Valentine’s meal, or getting their loved one something special and romantic. You’d have to be a saint to put up with that and not go slightly mental.
“Just because we are not committed to a serious, monogomous long-term relationship, and are lacking in good looks and social graces does not mean that we should be regarded as second class citizens. We think there should be a National Singles Day, where everybody should buy singletons they know a card and a present. That way, at least, there’s a chance we might not feel physically ill every February 14th. But only a small one.”