FOUR Police officers were injured when they were attacked by a stick-wielding crowd as a protest descended into mayhem.
Shocking footage showed police struggling to contain dozens of protesters outside a theatre in Camberwell, South London.
Clips circulated on social media show how cops were forced to defend themselves as protesters were seen hitting police cars with sticks.
Others armed with batons rushed along the road towards officers.
Amid the chaos, the group can be seen launching missiles and throwing plastic barriers at police.
Four officers were injured, one of whom was taken to hospital and has now been discharged.
Eight people were arrested for offences including violent disorder, criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon and assault on an emergency worker, the Met said.
The chaos caused gridlock in the suburb after a major road had to be closed near The Lighthouse Theatre.
The protest was related to “tensions in the Eritrean community”, the force added.
Reports claimed a group arrived to protest against a meeting inside in support of the government of the East African nation.
Cops in helmets were spotted marching in and forming a line after the brawl erupted.
The force stood with shields in hand after it appeared they had kettled the group – with about 60 protesters still behind the police cordon.
Met Police this afternoon said: “Officers are on scene in Camberwell Road, SE5 where there is a protest with approximately 50 people gathered outside a private venue.
“Additional officers are on their way to the location to assist with the demonstration.”
Around 2.30pm, the Southwark branch of the Met said: “A section 35 dispersal order has been put in place in the area of Camberwell Road, Southwark, until 7am.
“Police officers will have the power to exclude a person from the area for a period of up to 48 hours with an Inspector’s authority.”