The Hammer and Sickle - national flag of the Soviet Union - sparked off a full-scale riot when it was flown over the Town Hall of central London Borough, St.
The Hammer and Sickle - national flag of the Soviet Union - sparked off a full-scale riot when it was flown over the Town Hall of central London Borough, St. Panoras, on May 1st - traditional world-wide "Labour Day".
The decision to fly the flag had been taken by the majority Labour group of the council and had resulted in protests from all parts of the capital. But, despite the fact that petitions signed by several thousand people protesting against the move had been handed in, the Labour councillors went ahead with their plans to fly the flag.
The first sign of active protest appeared during the early hours of May 1st when the Hammer and Sickle emblem was daubed all over the walls of the Town Hall. But, while workmen tried to remove these marks, Labour leader, Councillor John Lawrence - accompanied by a group of follow councillors - had hoisted the brand new Russian flag to the top of the flagpole at 7 a.m. in the morning.
Down below the onlookers cheered and booed while a group of students paraded round the building with large British flags - across the road on St. Panoras Station, the Union Jack flew from the highest point that it could be flown from. Nearby Holborn also flew the Union Jack over their Town Hall as a mark of protest.
The next major incident occurred when the St. Parnoras and Holborn Traders Council attempted to hold a meeting in a nearby street - about 12 feet away from Union Movement meeting that had been in progress since 7 a.m.. The morning, the members taking it in turn to stand on the rostrum and gesture noiselessly at the passing public.
When the Police ponte dout to Councillor Lawrence that the Union Movement had prior claim to the pitch he was dragged from the platform by the policemen and arrested after the had refused to end the meeting. Another councillor who tried to re-start the meeting was also arrested. Ten minutes later mounted police rode into a group of people singing the "Red Flag" and took a further five people into custody - bringing the number of arrests up to ten.