Learn English vocabulary to talk about the news. A demonstration in support of Black Lives Matters in London turned ugly when more than 100 far-right protesters were arrested after violent clashes with the police and others. Neil and Catherine look at the vocabulary in the news around this story.

Video chapters

0:00 – Introduction
0:42 – The story
1:56 – Headline 1: More than 100 arrested at protests as PM condemns ‘racist thuggery’
4:04 – Headline 2: Black Lives Matter protests resume after far-right clash with police in London
7:20 – Headline 3: Clashes headed off by police at Glasgow statue protest
9:46 – Language summary

The story

The prime minister has condemned what he called ‘racist thuggery’ after clashes between protesters and police in central London. Crowds of mainly white men gathered around the Sir Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square saying they wanted to protect it from vandalism by anti-racism demonstrators.


violent behaviour

• Thuggery can make a peaceful protest turn violent.
• There’s a long history of thuggery at football competitions.


• Rival gangs clashed in the street.
• Politicians clashing in parliament is part of the democratic process.

headed off
prevented from happening

• With good planning, the worst effects of natural disasters can be headed off.
• He headed off a tantrum by buying his son an ice cream.

To download the audio and test your understanding, go to our website: https://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/course/newsreview/unit-13/session-147

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