The chaos that unfolded could also be seen at the historic Westminster Abbey, where monarchs have been crowned since 1066, and where Prince William will marry Kate Middleton in April. Wrecked sections of metal fencing lay in the grounds of the abbey.
Members of the far-right English Defence League organization had turned up to clean up the mess around the Churchill statue — at their own initiative.
One EDL activist, who did not give his name, was on his hands and knees with a brush and some turpentine scrubbing away at graffiti.
"Churchill's a legend. It's disgusting," he said. "He is the best of Britain. This is an insult to our country.
"They (the protesters) are fools. If they're complaining about tuition fees, they should spend that money on getting some history lessons."