Watch our video report above, more to follow tomorrow

8.30pm - Live blog now closed

The live blog is now closing. Sussex Police say the protest is now fully dispersed. A brief video report will be posted here this evening, and many more video reports will be uploaded tomorrow.

See tomorrow's Argus for a five page special, including the best of our photographs and reports from the street.

Click here for a gallery of pictures from the day, both from our photographers and from readers.

Thanks to all who contributed, including James Devonport, Dan Garland and Lasthours on Twitter, Ben Collier for his photographs, Rob Gourdie for his YouTube report, and everyone who commented on the story.

Argus coverage was carried out by web editor Jo Wadsworth, reporters Emily Walker, Richard Gurner, Andy Chiles and Ben Parsons, and photographers Simon Dack, Kate Howell, Terry Aplin and Eddie Mitchell.

7.50pm - Police condemn "unjustified acts of violence"

Brighton & Hove City Commander, Chief Supt Graham Bartlett, has released the following statement about today's protest:

“Once again, during a demonstration organised by Smash EDO, we have seen unjustified acts of violence aimed at premises and police officers, with some officers receiving minor injuries. Members of public including many visitors to the city have been clearly frightened and intimidated by a small minority of the group who have been verbally abusive, and throwing missiles at police.

"One member of public was struck in the face by a missile and had to be treated by a police medical team.

"Paint has been thrown at and daubed on a number of premises and a window at a boutique in Market Street was broken. There was also other reports of wanton criminal damage taking place.

"This is a tough time for businesses and this additional disruption, coupled with these criminal acts, only can only impact even more on vital commerce and tourism in the city.

"As at 7.40pm, there were three arrests - one man was arrested for assaulting a police officer, one for obstructing police and one for criminal damage. We will continue to investigate the other offences that have occurred and where possible bring those responsible to justice.

"Once again I urge those who wish to hold demonstrations in the city to abide by the law and notify the police of their intentions in advance so that jointly we can plan a safe but visible event which respects their right to protest and others rights to go about their business free from intimidation and violence.

"I would like to remind the people of Brighton & Hove and the rest of Sussex is that the officers involved in policing violent demonstrations such as we have seen today are the same officers who provide the local policing service you would expect from us. We would all rather see them helping to resolve local issues in their neighbourhoods than having to police such protests as this."

7.30pm - Police confirm two more arrests. Police say the total number of people arrested is now three.

One man was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after graffiti was sprayed on the Beach House cafe at the Palace Pier after a number of protesters climbed on the roof.

Another man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing police at the roundabout in front of the pier.

One protester has been taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital after falling from the roof.

Police say a hardcore of about 15 people are still dancing in front of the Beach House Cafe.

7.20pm - Protest dies down

Most of the protest has now finished. Police say just one person has been arrested. Lasthours reports there are now just 50 people left at the Pier.

5.50pm - Protestors dance on pier roof as police back off.

Police have stepped back to avoid confrontation with protesters.

Around 40 people are on top of the roof of the Beach House Cafe, chanting "Who's streets? Our streets".

Some people are smashing lighbulbs on the pier chip shop, but agression and violence seems to be subsiding.

Kings Road and the Palace Pier roundabout are still closed to traffic, but the demonstration seems to be scaling down.

5.30pm - Protesters are marching along the seafront, throwing bottles and cans.

The 100-strong crowd is heading west along Kings Road.

The whole road has been cleared of traffic.

5.15pm - Protesters set off flares at pier

Smash EDO campaigners have been setting off bright red flares in the street, next to Brighton Pier.

The crowd at the pier roundabout has now swelled to around 400, as people make their way from the beach to watch.

Roads around the area, including St James's Street are believed to be completely blocked to traffic.

5pm - Protest heading back to pier.

Around 100 demonstrators have returned to the roundabout next the the Sealife Centre.

The bulk of the crowd had been congregating in Castle Square near the Pavillion.

Police officers are en route from John Street to the pier.

4.50pm - Police "preparing for riot" at police station

Police have closed the road and set up a wall of riot sheilds outside the police station in John Street.

The area has been cordonned off and blocked by police riot vans.

A witness said: "There are no protesters around, but the police look like they are expecting a riot."

4.30pm - Police officers are guarding EDO's factory, but protesters have not taken their campaign to the site.

Around a dozen police officers are guarding the site, but none of the protesters demonstrating in the city centre have yet broken away to the factory.

Officers were expecting the Moulsecoomb company to be the target of today's demonstration.

4.15pm - A mass of protesters are now on the land around St Peter's Church.

Lasthours reports on Twitter: "There are two soundsystems here. One playing king prawn, the other bad techno."

There seems to be a lull in the protest, possibly because of the rain which has just started.

3.45pm - Police have confirmed a woman was injured after being hit in the face with a missile.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: "In Priory Street at about 3pm a woman was injured after she was hit in the face by a missile."

Three police offficers are said to have been injured in total, described by the police spokeswoman as "push and shove" injuries.

Police estimate that 500 people were still involved in the protests at 2.30pm.

Around 200 protesters are still in Trafalgar Street.

A splinter group are thought to be heading towards Middle Street and the beach.

3.30pm - Protesters are using wheelie bins as battering rams to try and break down the police line.

As the stand-off in Trafalgar Street escalates, police have sealed off side streets and are trying to direct the march towards St Peter's Church.

Witnesses have reported tensions rising and a lot of pushing and shoving between police and protesters.

March organisers have hailed it a great success.

A spokesman for Smash EDO declared the demonstration the most successful in the campaign's history.

He said: "It was better than expected, I reckon at least 2,000 people at its height. It must be the best ever Smash EDO protest."

Jody Mcintyre, an 18-year-old student, said: "I think it's wrong that our country sells arms to other countries that you know are going to use them. "It's very distressing to see factories here in Brighton in the UK." Not everyone shared the thoughts of the protesters though. Rachel Newton, a 37-year-old architect technician, told The Argus: "Why don't they have a bath and get a life."

3.20pm - The standoff in Trafalgar Street continues.

Witnessing the action, James Devonport says: "There are massive confrontations happening. It's on verge of getting very violent. Very scary."

James posted this video of the standoff on YouTube:

3.15pm - Standoff between police and protesters in Trafalgar Street.

Demonstrators who have been turned back round by police, have thrown missiles, including cans and stones at police.

Protesters now seem to be changing direction and finding another route.

3pm-A man has been arrested during the Mayday march.

A spokesman for campaign group Smash EDO said he had been arrested on suspicion of assault.

The man, in his 20s was detained following a clash at the junction of Stanford Avenue and Cleveland Road.

The main body of protesters have now returned to Preston Circus, causing traffic chaos at the busy junction.

Police are still blocking demonstrators from accessing Ditchling Road from Stanley Road.

A small group of five or six cyclists, wearing the red and black Smash EDO uniform, have been spotted heading towards arms-manufacturer EDO MBM

Police have been coralling protesters into London Road.

The march has been directed up Anne Street to the New England Qurarter and onlookers reported the march becoming "a bit heated".

2.50pm - Unconfirmed reports an arrest has been made.

On Twitter, lasthours reports someone has been "nicked"

Meanwhile, former councillor and leading protester Marina Pepper has tweeted: "Sitting in Preston Park. Reclaim the Park? It's turned into a peace picnic! We'll regroup and head off soon."

2.45pm - Further violence between protesters and police as march heads through Preston Park.

One protester, wearing a black mask coverting his face was being restrained by police in Chester Terrace.

A female protestor was being held by police officers.

Confusion seems to be setting in amongst the crowd, with people shouting different directions.

Factions of the group seem to have split off, and shouted and conflicting destinations are being bandied around the group of around 300 people near Preston Park.

2.30pm - There are unconfirmed reports white paint has been thrown at a CCTV van in Preston Park.

On Twitter, anti-authoritarian zine lasthours also reports people are running out of the park to escape the police. It says people are forming a line, and police sirens are blazing.

It added: "People are singing the Darth Vader theme tune."

2.20pm - A crowd of around 300 protesters have gathered at Preston Park.


2.10pm - Angry clashes between police and protesters in Ditchling Road area.

Police officers drew their batons to keep protesters at bay in Ditchling Road.

A police line, keeping demonstrators in order, broke down after numerous missiles were thrown at officers.

Police resorted to using their batons to keep protesters at bay.

Rob Gourdie posted this video of riot police preparing for confrontation in nearby Fiveways:

At least one police officer was injured by a flying object, but injuries were not thought to be serious.

On Twitter, Lasthours reporter: "Just kicked off near Bromley Road. Some bricks thrown."

Traffic has been brought to a standstill at Preston Circus.

1.50pm - Police have lost control of the crowd in London Road and have tried to regain control using horses in Ditchling Road.

Two dozen officers up against a crowd of at least 200 have been forced to retreat under a hail of missiles.

At least one officer has been seen knocked to the ground.

Reporter Ben Parsons said: "The police seem to have lost all control of the crowd."

1.45pm - Protesters have been rocking a police van outside McDonald's.

A line of police with batons drawn are defending the restaurant. A group of protesters have peeled off down a side street and set off up Ditchling Road.

1.40pm - There are now clashes between police and protesters outside McDonald's in London Road.

Police have sealed off the road and some of the protesters appear to be trying to make their way to The Level.

On Twitter, Dan Garland reports that missiles have been thrown at the fast food chain, and police officers have moved in with riot shields to protect the building. He said: "The temperature's rising."

1.20pm - Turner prizewinner, Anish Kapoor, famous for his use of red paint, has been spotted watching the Mayday march.

The artist, currently artistic director of this year's Brighton festival was spotted watching the procession of around 500 people in Queen's Road.

Despite his love of red paint, the artist did not join in spraying red graffiti and throwing paint bombs at shops.

Protesters are now heading down Trafalgar Street.

Video by James Devonport. To see the footage in widescreen, click here

As the parade passed the heavy police pressence at the train station, more paint was sprayed onto a police CCTV van.

Crowds trying to get through the tunnel at the top of Trafalgar Street were crushed together from the sheer weight of the crowd.

1.05pm - Paintbombs thrown at campaign targets

DEMONSTRATORS have thrown bombs of red paint at capitalist and military targets.

Barlcays Bank in North Street was splattered in paint after one of the paint bombs was hurled from the increasingly aggressive crowd.

Now a second paint bomb has been thrown at the Army Surplus store in Queen's Road.

Lines of red graffiti have also been sprayed on shop fronts, as the march heads back towards Brighton train station.

1pm - Protesters climb scaffolding at bank

ANTI-CAPITALIST campaigners have climbed scaffolding on a bank.

Three men climbed the scaffolding to try and hang a banner on the North Street branch.

Police appear to have arrested some of the men trying to climb the scaffolding. Then men are believed to have tried to drag the officers back into the crowd with a scuffle ensuing.

Officers are now forming a protective barrier around the bank.

12:50pm - Police officers are preparing for clashes with protesters outside the Royal Bank of Scotland.

The Mayday demonstrators are now heading from the pier towards the city centre via the Old Steine and North Street.

Officers on horseback are stood guard against possible trouble at the bank, tipped as one of the capitalist targets by march organisers Smash EDO last week.

Half a dozen police officers are guarding the entrance and windows to the bank, but so far anti-capitalist campaigners are funnelling past peacefully.

Around 400 people have joined the march.

12:35pm - Protest moves tiowards Old Steine

BRIGHTON seafront has been closed off by police as protesters fill the area.

Protesters were starting to move towards the Old Steine, but are being kept near the pier by police.

Motorists are being diverted through the city centre as Kings Road has been closed to traffic at the pier.

Spots of rain are beginning to fall but they don't seem to bother the protesters at the Palace Pier. Spots of rain are beginning to fall but they don't seem to bother the protesters at the Palace Pier.

Members of the public do not seem too bothered with the distruption along the seafront.

Pub shift manager Jake Tyler, 23, from Kemp Town, said: "We're taking it all in our stride.

"It's not giving Brighton a bad name, this is what Brighton is all about."

Another bystander Helen Williams, a 33-year-old credit controller, said: "I think good on them. They're exercising their right to protest.

12:12pm - Traffic chaos up as protest grows

QUEUES are building up along Madeira Drive and Grand Parade as Smash EDO protesters block the pier roundabout.

Around 40 people are currently in the centre of the roundabout dancing.

A further 200 people have gathered near the entrance to Brighton Pier.

Cyclists are slowly pedalling along the seafront between the piers in a bid to further disrupt traffic.

Police are currently taking a hands-off approach and only intervening when vehicles become trapped on the aquarium roundabout.

12.00 - Cycling protesters halt traffic

Protesters have brought traffic to a standstill by riding continuously around the Palace Pier roundabout.

They left Brighton train station at about 11.10am.

Severe disruption is expected throughout the city as they head west towards the West Pier along the seafront.

11.50am Protesters heading to Brighton Pier

ANTI-ARMS and capitalism campaigners are heading for Brighton seafront for today's Mayday protest.

Protesters are expected to start congregating opposite Brighton Pier in the next hour.

There are about 50 to 60 cyclists heading from Brighton station towards the pier, and said they were intent on a peaceful protest.

Former Lewes councillor Marina Pepper cycled to Brighton train station from Saltdean for today's "street party".

She said: "I'm sure today will be a lovely tourist attraction." Asked whether criticism of the protesters was justified, she replied: "It's ridiculous.It's everybody's Bank Holiday and if people want to go to the garden centre they can go to the garden centre. "If people want to go to the beach they can but if people want to protest against the war machine then very much good for them."

11.30am Protesters start cycle ride around city

PROTESTERS on bicycles are starting to make their way onto the city centre streets.

Cyclists have just left Brighton train station on an secret route to disrupt traffic. There are about 40 to 50 cyclists on their way between the station and the city centre.

A protester who would only give his name as Tom, said: "I'm here today because people are dying everywhere as victims of the state and it's not right.

"I've travelled from Bristol today and there were a fair few of us on the train. "Hopefully it's going to be peaceful today. The police have been told to keep themselves in check."

11.15am Protesters gathering at Brighton station

PROTESTERS are beginning to gather at Brighton train station for today’s May Day protests.

One protester, Steven Sayer, 46, of Brighton said: “Of course today is going to be peaceful, we’ve got music, young people, it’s a carnival.

“I don’t want, on my conscience, in my town, equipment that has been used to kill children in Palestine.

“That’s not me saying something out of the air. That’s fact.”

The city is preparing for the biggest demonstration Brighton and Hove has ever seen with thousands expected to attend the Mayday march organised by peace campaign group Smash EDO.

The demonstrations are aimed at the Brighton-based defence manufacturer EDO MBM/ITT.

There are currently more police officers than demonstrators at the train station, including some riot officers on horseback.

Police teams started assuming positions around the city earlier this morning.

Sussex Police have set up a road block in Home Farm Road, blocking access to the site of the arms components factory which has been the focus of Smash EDO's activism.

8.25am Police prepare for protests

Police have begun preparing for a day of protest which threatens to bring Brighton's bank holiday to a standstill.

Smash EDO, the group organising the May Day demonstrations, has refused to co-operate with police or release details of the "Mass Street Party Against War and Greed" until just before the event begins.

Police units from across Sussex and the south east poured into Brighton and gathered at the Territorial Army centre in Dyke Road this morning.

About 40 vans were seen to arrive, some bearing the insignia of Thames Valley Police and Kent Police.

Dog units and police horses were seen as police gathered to plan their response to the day's protests.

Officers also stood guard in Home Farm Road, the site of the arms components factory EDO MBM Technology which has been the focus of Smash EDO's activism.

Demonstrations are expected to begin with a mass bicycle ride from Brighton railway station at 11am.

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