Thursday, 2 April 2009

Live G20 protest updates and breaking news

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[update 12:43 GMT+1 July 22 2010]

No charges against police killers of Ian Tomlinson. Outrageous but sadly not surprising. Affirms the fact that the police have a licence to kill in the UK. See Guardian article here

[update 16:31 GMT Sept 28 2009]

LONDON (Reuters) - A police officer has been charged with assaulting a female protester during anti-G20 demonstrations in London earlier this year, prosecutors said on Monday.

Police Sergeant Delroy Smellie is accused of beating a woman during the protests in the City of London on April 2 as the leaders of the G20 nations gathered for an economic summit.

An investigation was launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) watchdog after video footage came to light of an officer allegedly striking Nicola Fisher.

"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided that there is sufficient evidence to charge Police Sergeant Delroy Smellie with the offence of assault by beating of Nicola Fisher," a CPS spokesman said.

[update 22 April]
IPCC, contrary to Hardwick's statements to parliament, is now trying to stop videos appearing in the public domain. It sought, unsuccessfully, an injunction to stop Channel 4 showing an excerpt on YouTube that has since been removed.

Abolish the IPCC now. Well done to the Guardian for broadcasting the
full footage on it's site:

[update 21 April]
City of London coroner says third postmortem to be carried out on body of Ian Tomlinson at request of police on Wednesday 22 April.

Commissioner Paul Stephenson told MPs today that: "“This was a successful conference, although there have been a few disturbing images that need to be investigated.”

A few 'disturbing images' - what about the killing of an innocent man?
The IPCC is has now received 185 complaints against the police and is investigating 52 incidents according to chairman Nick Hardwick.

Meanwhile, 58% of people questioned by pollsters ICM were opposed to the police use of excessive force, while right wing MP Gerald Howarth bemoans what he sees as the challenge to law and order by Tamils in Parliament Square - the direct result of what he regards as unwarranted criticism of police violence.

Tamils beaten up by cops can be forgiven for not being aware of the new softly softly 'restraint' being shown by the territorial support group bully boys.

The police blogs have been fighting a rearguard action to defend 'outnumbered' police on public order duties. Now that's unusual - cops inflating figures for demos.

They had better hope that when hundreds of thousands of us, as opposed to the 15,000 in the City on 1 April, turn out again for Gaza etc we are forgiving mood.

As a famous and seminal bunch of US rappers by the name of NWA once said: Fuck the Police.

[update 18:26 20 April]
Protesters march through London last Saturday (11 April) to demand justice for Ian Tomlinson (Pic: » Angela Stapleford)

The march of over 500 people last Saturday was the perfect launch pad for the fightback against police brutality in Britain.

The first campaign meeting on Wednesday 15 April was attended by around 60 people and included the Tomlinson family solicitor, representatives from the Riggs and Douglas families that saw loved ones die in police custody (United Friends and Families Campaign), plus representatives from the Newham Monitoring Project, Inquest, the Green Party and the Socialist Workers Party, among others.

It was agreed to name the campaign the United Campaign Against Police Violence and an open steering committee has been set up which held its first meeting on Saturday and was attended by Inquest's Helen Shaw, the NMP and the Green Party's London Policy Co-ordinator.

The campaign is now planning for a launch rally on 5 May to be followed by a national demonstration on 23 May. Shami Chakrabarti the director of Liberty has indicated she would like to speak at the meeting, as has Jeremy Corbyn and Bob Crow. More details to be announced soon.

Bob Crow, the general secretary of the Rail Maritime and Transport union is backing the campaign as is Mark Serwotka, leader of the civil service workers' union the PCS.

This coming Saturday will see the campaign leaflet fans at Millwall football club, as Ian Tomlinson was a big fan. Bob Crow a Millwall fan will be joining the leafleters.

This Friday 24 April Ken Livingstone and the Greens on the London Assembly are backing a mass turning off of lights across London between 8.30 and 9.30 as a mark of respect for Ian and in protest at police violence.

The main action to focus on will be taking place on Thursday 30 April when the campaign is asking supporters to join them in picketing the Metropolitan Police Authority meeting at the London Assembly.

The campaign has decided not to call for a public inquiry as much of what happened to Ian is already in the public domain.

The United Campaign Against Police Violence says:

• Remember Ian Tomlinson
• No more deaths in custody
• Defend the freedom to protest

More posts to follow with details on all of the above and how you can get involved with the campaign which is still in the early stages.
[update 18:42 19 April]

Nick Hardwick says we need a national debate on policing. No, what we need from his IPCC is for it to do its job and help to bring violent and criminal police officers to account.

But isn't it remarkable what a difference a week makes as media outlets, and others, apparently fall over themselves to start focusing on police behaviour instead of demonising peaceful protesters.

In addition to our new converts in the media in the fight against police brutality, we also have Tory politicians like Boris Johnson calling for a speedy and transparent inquiry. Government and politicians are racing to catch up with a mood of outrage.

In truth the 'concern' from the establishment and wider business community is more with the damage the killing of Ian Tomlinson, and the exposure of the accompanying widespread police violence, has done to the credibility of the police among those previously supportive of the legitimacy of the police as the state's main internal guarantor of order. And all this happening as social upheaval breaks out across the world in tandem with the spreading 'great recession', although in some countries it will surely be a depression.

[update 08:38 BST 11 April]
The Guardian reports this morning that the first post mortem was carried out by a dodgy pathologist. See today' post. In a previous case he had found a woman to have died of natural causes only for the person to go to kill and mutilate two other women.

Posting from Spain this week using my iPhone so lots of typos to come.

[update 07:38 BST 10 April]
We rang the IPCC yesterday and got the same stonewalling (see below) the Guardian received when we asked if anyone had been interviewed, let alone arrested.

The northern 'terror plot' sounds like another piece of state-sponsored fiction. But hey, we shouldn't prejudge these things - leave that to the police.

But seriously, the cops haven't found anything at any of the addresses apart from photographs of the Arndale shopping centre and Birdcage night club in Manchester, according to BBC Radio 4 this morning. I suppose I better get rid of my pics of the houses of parliament.

However, despite the lack of any evidence, fabricated or otherwise, the 'plot' is being used to clampdown on student visas and to do a bit more Pakistan bashing.

[update 07:38 BST 10 April]
Demonstrate this Saturday 11 April Bethnal Green police station
[update 07:38 BST 10 April]
We rang the IPCC yesterday and got the same stonewalling (see below) the Guardian received when we asked if anyone had been interviewed, let alone arrested.

[update 17:50 BST 9 April]
Fresh from our inbox - IPCC press release
The IPCC has called for the officer to be suspended. The MPS has now
informed us that the officer has suspended with immediate effect.

Although decisions about suspension are a matter for the Chief Officer
of the police, when there is an IPCC investigation, the police are
obliged to consult with us over the suspension of officers. In this
case, we have expressed the view that the officer in question should be
suspended from duty, in the public interest.

[update 17:37 BST 9 April]
The Guardian has more footage which makes a total mockery of the police version of events:

The footage, shot by Nabeela Zahir, a 27-year-old freelance journalist from London, contains three important elements to note:

Police move quickly to push away those protesters and bystanders who were aiding Tomlinson, including a man on the phone to the ambulance service. The ambulance service wanted to be put in contact with the officer, who declined to take the call.

• The reaction of protesters is important. After the demonstration, police accused them of impeding Tomlinson's treatment by subjecting the officers and medics to a hail of missiles. Although this video does not show the entire incident, when the camera is rolling, no missiles are thrown. In fact, the contrary is true – a man stands with his arms in the air and shouts: "There is someone hurt here. Back the fuck up."

You can hear someone from the crowd saying: "There's someone hurt. Don't throw anything." This indicates something was thrown, but certainly there was no barrage of missiles on film, and nothing reached the police.

The riot officers have concealed their faces. Pause at 56 seconds. There are four officers in shot. Three have their face masks pulled half-way up their faces.

[update 17:04 BST 9 April]

Spoke to the IPCC press officer a moment ago. He's new to the job so I did feel a bit sorry for him. I asked if any policemen had been interviewed yet and if so how many? He referred me to their press statement released last night.

On the 'independence' of the investigation I asked in what way was their team of investigators independent and were they all trained to carry out such investigations? I was told: "our team of investigators come from a range of fields and are entirely independent but may use City resources for analytical and research needs".

When asked if any of the investigators were ex-police officers I was told the press office did not have the information to hand and would get back to me. Asked where the missiles story had come from he suggested I take it up with the Met. He could not confirm whether the IPCC was specifically looking into this fabricated story as part of its investigation.

[update 15:20 BST 9 April]
Just spoke to the coroner's office and they can confirm that the second post mortem on Ian Tomlinson is taking place this afternoon, so we'll be ringing back later.

[update 14:47 BST 9 April]

G20 death: Officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson 'should be arrested and suspended'

Former senior officer Brian Paddick urges Metropolitan police to take 'decisive action' to avoid public confidence in force being damaged.

"If that had been a member of the public caught on video doing that, they would have immediately been arrested." More at the Guardian

[update 12:08 BST 9 April]
Four cops have come forward (presumably the four Territorial Support Group squad members that executed the attack), but I think we can all count more than 4 cops in the vicinity - and who did nothing to help Ian.

Ian Tomlinson's widow Julia and his son Paul. Photograph: David Mansell

"When I close my eyes, I can't stop the video playing in my head. How he slams to the floor. How the officers don't go to his help. It is disgusting."

Julia Tomlinson, Ian's widow.

[update 11:39 BST 9 April]
Another protest demo has been called this Saturday 11 April - Bethnal Green Police station 11am - not sure by who exactly.

Telegraph catching up with the story. They've managed to work out that there was more than one attack by police - you don't say! Paper says at least three attacks. On Monday 6 April it was known to anyone that had seen witness statements, and the first photo from the Royal Exchange, that he must have been assaulted at least twice.

Telegraph does have this from Ian's friend Barry Smith:
"He had a drink problem but that day he was completely sober and was looking forward to starting work again the next day.

"I would normally close the stall at 8pm, but that night I had run out of papers by 7pm so I told him to go home. I keep thinking that if only I had had another bundle he would still be alive today."

[re-posted 11:35 9 April]
from 'Police and IPCC manipulated Tomlinson family in cover-up attempt'

Reading the Guardian this morning is heartening as it confirms the suspicions of this blog from the very start: the police put out a lie to cover their tracks and then manipulated the family to keep the lie on the road. Here's that big lie again:
"The officers gave him an initial check and cleared his airway before moving him back behind the cordon line to a clear area outside the Royal Exchange Building where they gave him CPR,"

"The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles - believed to be bottles - were being thrown at them.
They have refused to tell us or the Guardian why it took so long to announce his death - we made it fours hours not three as the Guardian states. The police have also still not revealed the provenance of the 'rain of missiles' story.

'Guidance' given to journalists last Thursday (2 April) by the City Of London police steered the media into the 'pre-existing condition' line:
"His family were not surprised to hear what had happened," the guidance went. When pressed about the nature of the inquiry and whether Mr Tomlinson had any contact with officers, journalists were told speculation "upset the family".
The police were using the family as a shield to deflect any proper investigation of what happened to Ian. The family no doubt were willing to accept the police line that it was protesters who stopped their medics getting to Ian's aid, given the background of lies about 'violent protesters' orchestrated in the run-up to the G20 protests.

Requests by the Guardian to speak to the family were refused. On Friday the Guardian got hold of the first photograph. The police were not shown the pic but according to the Guardian were aware of allegations of an 'altercation' - anyone doing a search on the web at the time would have come across countless witness statements to this effect, and worse. But the the family were not told about any of this by the police who were shielding them, although a statement was put out which seemed as if it had been written by the police themselves complaining about journalists and bloggers and the need to wait for the outcome of the IPCC 's 'assessing' . How convenient.

On Saturday we got the post mortem results. "Independent approaches to the coroner were met with a refusal to comment." You better believe it. I had a conversation with the coroner's officer and made the point that the delay might impair the usefulness of the medical examination for finding out the cause of death. No comment. Why the delay? No comment.

During a memorial service for Ian attended by the family, the Guardian managed to make contact. The police liaison officer told the Guardian not to contact the family again for '48 hours'. The IPCC added to the cover-up attempts by telling the media there was 'nothing in the story' about allegations of a police assault on Mr Tomlinson.

On Tuesday night the IPCC asked the Guardian to remove the fund manager's video (who seems to have shown more investigative impulse than the combined ranks of the British media and IPCC - with the exception of the Guardian), but thankfully the Guardian refused its request.
By now Tomlinson's family had found their own voice. They told the Guardian: "Now we do know police did have contact with him. Thanks for everything you have done so far."
Thanks to the Guardian

"When I close my eyes, I can't stop the video playing in my head. How he slams to the floor. How the officers don't go to his help. It is disgusting."
Julia Tomlinson, Ian's widow.

[posted 08:09 9/4/09]
Ian's family are hoping to start an appeal in his memory. Busy day for the cops. Policeman that assaulted Ian Tomlinson is being questioned today by the IPCC. Mr Bob Quick, who proved to be a bit slow on the job, even for a copper (I always find them amazingly incoherent on TV), has now resigned from his counter-terrorism role.

Heard on the broadcast media last night (8th) that City of London police are no longer investigating for the IPCC as a number of their officers may have been involved in incident with Ian Tomlinson. Also, a second post mortem has been ordered and the IPCC is now holding an independent inquiry. Need to get a handle on who exactly the 'independent' investigators are. Channel 4 produced another video showing different angle of the attack on Ian.

From the Guardian
...their lawyer, Jules Carey, read out a short statement on their behalf. "The family would like to thank the media for bringing crucial evidence about Ian's death to light. Today the IPCC agreed that the investigation would now be an independent criminal investigation. The family have arranged a second postmortem examination to take place later this week."

On their kitchen table, on top of piles of newspapers, was a plastic jar filled with blue ribbons. Another jar was filled with coins. It is a humble beginning, but they hope it is the start of an appeal in his memory.
IPCC is at pains to point out is it assessing the criminality of police behaviour. I should bloody well hope so:

“People have been calling for a criminal investigation. I want to stress that, from the outset of all our investigations, we consider whether criminal offences have been committed. This is a criminal investigation and we will, of course, be discussing it with the Crown Prosecution Service.

“At the moment the investigation is focused on identifying the officers in the footage. Several have already come forward and all efforts are being made to trace those who haven’t.

Witness Alan Edwards, 34, says that Ian Tomlinson was following police orders when he was attacked. He went to his aid as he was worried by the what the police might do to him next.
"When I spoke to the lady at the IPCC she asked what happened when [Tomlinson - god almighty, the IPCC are rubbish] fell over. I said: 'He didn't fall, he was pushed.'"

"I tried to eyeball him [riot cops that batoned Ian and shoved him over] to see if I would remember who he was but he was balacavaed up," Edwards said. "All you could see was his hands and his eyes. He looked slightly crazy. That's why I stood my ground a bit."

After picking up Mr Tomlinson from the ground, Edwards had a brief exchange with him. "I said, you OK, mate? He said: No, I live down there - that's where I live. I can't get there any other way. I'm trying to get home."

Edwards, who had been to demonstrations before, said at the time he had not been "particularly shocked" by the assault because he had seen similar incidents in the past. His message to Mr Tomlinson's family would be: "I am sorry I could not help any more." more

Ken Livingstone was waxing lyrical about Bob Quick and counter terror cops in general. Pretty revolting, but he did make the point that one cop has been seen committing a violent assault and has not even been suspended while another one was sacked for being careless with 'terror' arrest plans. And once we've finished with this bit of nonsense could we have some evidence, charges etc please on the 12 arrested men - you know innocent until proven guilty and all that, or does that only stand for thuggish policemen?

[update 12:52 BST 6 April]

City police interview Ian Tomlinson witness - assaulted at least twice - more pics emerge

pic by Kris Sime

A witness has been questioned by City of London police. It follows the publication of three witnesses' statements by the Observer on Sunday. It is not clear whether the person questioned is from among witnesses cited by the newspaper.

The attack on Ian Tomlinson described by the witnesses took place in the Royal Exchange (the building opposite the Bank of England people often mistake for the Bank) and before he was attacked by police for a second time near St Michael's Alley. It is difficult for the police to refute the photographic evidence above from Kris Sime.

[update 11:40 BST 5 April]

It is becoming harder and harder by the day for the IPCC not to open an investigation into Ian Tomlinson's death. Everything we've been saying about this death, although it now seems clear he was a bystander, is being corroborated by more and more witnesses - he was caught up in the 'kettle' and the police charges. He was 'assaulted' by police before falling.

Did police murder G20 protester Ian Tomlinson? - first posted Friday 3 April.

Marching against police brutality and media lies this afternoon, from the Bank of England to Bethnal Green police station, in memory of Ian Tomlinson

[update 18:49 4 April]
Post-mortem finds that Ian 'died of natural causes' says City of London Police spokesman.

[update 13:05 BST 3 April]
Result of postmortem on Ian Tomlinson to be released this afternoon.

[update 10:13 BST 3 April]

Who killed Ian Tomlinson?

The police stories, repeated by the media, are falling apart.

The first statements from cops claimed that Ian Tomlinson was prevented from receiving medical treatment by missile-throwing protesters. Not true. It was a protester that called for a medic and it was protesters that provided first aid. Riot police initially refused to call foe an ambulance. A couple of water bottles were thrown but it was protesters who quickly stopped it and it did not stop treatment.

Various participants in the City of London demonstrations on 1 April have come forward as witnesses to the collapse of a man later identified by authorities as Ian Tomlinson. Four different university students witnessed the collapse of Mr. Tomlinson. "He stumbled towards us from the direction of police and protesters and collapsed," said Peter Apps. "I saw a demonstrator who was a first aider attend to the person who had collapsed. The man was late 40s, had tattoos on his hands, and was wearing a Millwall shirt."

While the first aider was helping the man, another demonstrator with a megaphone was calling the police over so that they could help.

Natalie Langford, a student at Queen Mary, said "there was a police charge. A lot of people ran in our direction. The woman giving first aid stood in the path of the crowd." The running people, seeing a guy on the ground, went around them.

Another demonstrator had already called 999 and was getting medical advice from the ambulance dispatcher. "Four police with two police medics came. They told her [the first aider] to 'move along'.", said Peter Apps. "Then they pushed her forcibly away from him. They refused to listen to her [the first aider] when she tried to explain his condition."

The first aider, who did not wish to be named, said "The police surrounded the collapsed man. I was standing with the person who'd called 999. The ambulance dispatcher wanted to talk to the police, the phone was being held out to them, but the police refused."

Another witness, Elias Stoakes, added "we didn't see them [the police] perform CPR."

Other people who had tried to stay with the collapsed man were also pushed away.

All of the witnesses deny the allegation that many missiles were thrown.

According to Peter Apps, "one bottle was thrown, but it didn't come close to the police. Nothing was thrown afterwards as other demonstrators told the person to stop. The person who threw the bottle probably didn't realize that someone was behind the ring of police." All the witnesses said that the demonstrators were concerned for the well-being of the collapsed man once they realized that there was an injured person.

Natalie Langford said "when the ambulance arrived the protesters got straight out of the way."

Police then claimed that Ian was a passer by on his way home from work. This contradicts there earlier story that they had taken Ian out of the cordon for treatment.

More witnesses have come forward who say Ian was standing in front of a line of riot police before they charged at protesters. The Guardian reports:
Pictures seen by the Guardian, and corroborated by witnesses, suggest that Mr Tomlinson initially fell to the ground by a window of 11 Royal Exchange, outside the Mont Blanc shop, in front of five riot officers.

A subsequent picture shows him being lifted off the floor by a protester.

Seconds later, he is seen walking past a line of police dogs. He is believed to have collapsed again close to the junction of Birchin Lane, near a Starbucks and Office Angels.

Therehave been no witness statements corroborating the police claim that they were the first to offer medical assistance: Again from the Guardian report last night:
Another witness, Fran Legg, said she and a friend had rushed to help Mr Tomlinson after they realised he was not well. "People were calling out: 'Please, we need medics over here'," said the 20-year-old student, from Tavistock, in Devon. "Someone called an ambulance." Her friend put him in the recovery position and noticed he had blood on his face and was losing consciousness.

Legg said protesters were calling for people to move back and give him space as eight police officers arrived. By the time the ambulance reached the scene 10 minutes later, Mr Tomlinson was very white and could hardly breath.
Now we are being told he died from a heart attack. But witness reports suggest actions more consistent with ahead injury. If you have a heart attack you don't get up again and wonder aroud for a bit and then collapse:
"The officers were white as sheets," said Andy Bowman, a 24-year-old PhD student. "The blood had drained from their faces. They were giving us conflicting stories about what had happened; some of the officers were saying he had a blow to the head and some were saying he'd collapsed of a heart attack."

His friend Thomas Barlow, 26, said: "Some of the police were taking their helmets off, looking shocked.

"We were crossing the road and accidentally looked round and saw it.

"Someone called out, 'That person's hurt', and we went to have a look.

"The policemen around us tried to force us on very quickly."

The postmortem is being held today, so more soon.

22:41 - The protester killed yesterday has been named as Ian Tomlinson
[update 17:51 BST 2 April]
Not surprisingly world stock markets up 4% as government leaders agree to give more of our money to banks plus handouts to big business to 'boost trade'. What a joke. They are still in denial about the far bigger sum represented by the toxic assets that none of them dares to unravel. Meanwhile the poor get poorer and jobs disappear and incomes of ordinary go down the drain...

[update 17:34 BST 2 April]
20 or so people currently penned in near Liverpool Street on Bishopsgate.
Another group of about 100 cordoned near Bank. Protesters are let out of the pens one by one, but only after they've been photographed by police Forward Intelligence Teams.

[update 17:06 BST 2 April]
Three arrests on Lothbury St as demonstrators pushed away from Bank at around 4.00pm by up to 100 riot police.

Anyone with information related to the death of the protester yesterday should write a full statement and contact the Legal Defence and Monitoring Group

[update 15:47 BST 2 April]

Contrary to earlier report, memorial service went ahead with about 100 people in attendance. There was a short ceremony in memory of the protester killed. Flowers laid and speeches.

[update 15:34 BST 2 April]

The police raid on the Rampart Social Centre to round-up 'troublemakers'

[update 14:40 BST 2 April]

Unconfirmed reports of tazering of detainees at Earl St convergence centre. About 30 people lined up handcuffed outside building.

Why don't they be done with it and blindfold them too, and it will be just like that other criminal venture - the invasion of Iraq.

[update 13:56 BST 2 April]
Protesters at Finsbury Circus - reports Invesco Perpetual building is surrounded, not clear if that's by police/security of protesters. About 150-200 protesters at Bank, along with 100-150 police, five mounted police and a van of police dogs. More police are currently arriving to form lines around the bank building. People at Earl Street being led out in handcuffs with feet bound and filmed. Pople complaining of lack of medical care for injuries sustained in police raid.

Picture of the man who died yesterday - still no name released

[update 13:34 BST 2 April]
Police break up memorial service at Bank of England for the protester who died yesterday as flowers were being laid.

Strangely, the name of the person who died, or was killed, has still not been released.

[update 13:16 BST 2 April]
Legal observers being taken away at Rampart social centre, searched and threatened with arrest under anti-social behaviour legislation, as riot police forcibly remove people. An embedded ITN news crew are accompanying the thugs in blue on their raid.

[update 13:00 BST 2 April]
Around 40 people gathered at Bishopsgate - surrounded by pigs.

[update 12:55 BST 2 April]
Police arresting everyone at Earl St centre. Police are out to smash the Whitechapel anarchists and anyone else that 'looks like' a protester.

[update 12:48 BST 2 April]

Police are on the ground and top floor of Earl St, people have barricaded themselves in on the first floor. Entering Rampart with shields, building fully surrounded. Hope this isn't going to be a repeat of the infamous Italian police raids on convergence centres at Genoa G8 when protesters were wantonly beaten and hospitalised.

[update 12:35 BST 2 April]

Police forcing entry to both the Ramparts social centre in Whitechapel (lots of cop vehicle passed through Aldgate about 1 hour ago) and Earl Street convergence centre.

[update 12:28 BST 2 April]

George Monbiot has an excellent article on police brutality in the Guardian today:
The trouble-makers are out in force again. Dressed in black, their faces partly obscured, some of them appear to be interested only in violent confrontation. It's almost as if they are deliberately raising the temperature, pushing and pushing until a fight kicks off. But this isn't some disorganised rabble: these people were bussed in and are plainly acting in concert. There's another dead giveaway. They are all wearing the same slogan: Police. more

Guarding the London Stock Exchange

[update 12:18 BST 2 April]

Police stop and search op at Earl Street convergence centre - Guess this is part of the 'tracking down troublemakers' operation the police were promising last night.

[update 11:56 BST 2 April]
30 riot police have turned up at the Ramparts social centre in Whitechapel - truncheons drawn. Are they going to enter to break heads?

[update 11:47 BST 2 April]
Police sirens wailing in the City and they've got their shiny new armoured vehicles on the streets again - bit like West Belfast during the troubles.

Around 400 anti-war demonstrators have agathered near the ExCel centre.

[update 11:28 BST 2 April]

The Guardian reports:
After the charge against the sit-down protest at students, there were complaints that officers had been heavy handed. "When people surrounded RBS, I could understand police tactics," said Jack Bright, 19. "We were sat down, trying to have a peaceful protest, but they started whacking us."

With his head wounds bandaged up by an ITN crew, Finn O'Sullivan, 21, said: "There was a girl in front of me who got hit. Then a bloke got hit and fell to the floor. I was next in line and just remember shields coming down on us. The police were stamping and kicking. I asked them to let me through the line for medical treatment but they said no."
The last sentence gives a clue to what happened when people tried to get medical assistance to the protester who died inside the police cordon yesterday. The report continues:
Scotland Yard said the alarm had been raised by a member of the public who spoke to a police officer on a cordon at the junction of Birchin Lane and Cornhill in the City.

He sent two medics through the cordon line and into nearby St Michael's Alley where they found a man who had stopped breathing. They called for ambulance support at about 7.30pm and moved him back behind the cordon where they gave him cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.

"The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles – believed to be bottles – were being thrown at them", said a police statement. The ambulance service took the man to hospital where he died.

A London ambulance spokesman said: "Our staff immediately took over the treatment of the patient and made extensive efforts to resuscitate him both at the scene and on the way to hospital."

The BBC said: "Police added that officers arrived on the scene to help but had to move the man, thought to be in his 40s, after bottles were thrown at them" - implying that the police medics were not able to provide medical assistance in the first instance.

None of these police reports have been independently verified.

[update 10:48 BST 2 April]
Demo against police repression at Bank of England 1.00pm

[update 09:30 BST 2 April]

All Docklands Light Railway stations near ExCel have been closed. This will make it difficult for people to get to the protests.

Guardian reports protester definitely died inside the police cordon - Independent Police Complaints Commission has been notified, but don't hold your breath on that useless organisation coming up with anything. Went to university with the man that runs it and he was always a careerist bum - Nick Hardwick. Surely the police use of cordons to hold people for hours on end has to be outlawed?

Any protesters who witnessed the collapse of the person that died yesterday should contact Bindmans Solicitors on 02078334433. The police rumour mill does not add up as things stand. An unnamed police spokesperson claims police tried to help the collapsed individual but were prevented from doing so by 'bottle-throwing demonstrators'. This sounds like a pre-emptive move by cops to explain the 4 hour gap between the death and its reporting. More on this later in the day.

[update 08:40 BST 2 April]

Stop the War Coalition - Demonstrate at the G20 on 2 April

11 am, the roundabout at end of Tidal Basin Road, E16 1AD.

Nearest working tube/DLR: Canning Town.

Please bring shoes, baby dolls, photos and other symbols of the death and destruction wreaked by the world's leaders.

  • Get the troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan
  • End the siege of Gaza – free Palestine
  • Create jobs not bombs
  • Stop arming Israel
  • Abolish all nukes

Called by Stop the War, CND, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative

Youth March for Jobs details here

[update 08:34 2 April]
Some protesters have started gathering at the stock exchange. Ramparts social centre (a space that has been squatted by anarchists for some time) - 15 -17 Rampart Street, London E1 2LA (near Whitechapel, off Commercial Rd) - has been surrounded by police. People are being stopped and searched and one person arrested so far - for having a spray can. Maybe it was Banksy.

[update 08:31 BST 2 April]
Police say they intend to 'track down troublemakers' using video and photo intelligence. On official figures nine people were injured, one of which was a police officer - so was dishing out the violence?

[update 07:45 BST 2 April]
Streets cleared by cops by 1:30. Over 80 arrests and more are promised by police. Still no news from protester witnesses to how a man came to die at Bank of England. Stop the War ExCel Centre protests start at 11am.
Disruption of stock exchange also planned, plus youth jobs march.

message from the climate camp: 'Street empty. They beat us out and squashed our tents. But oh what a world we created! Shame on the powers that be.'

[update 23:16 BST 1 April]

A man has collapsed and died at the peaceful climate camp. The police should take the blame for this - penning people in for hours and intermittently attacking them.

The BBC reports that the police say the man was found unconscious near the Bank of England at 19:30 and paramedics failed to resuscitate him at the scene and he was pronounced dead at hospital. If this is the case why are we only hearing about this 4 hours later?

23:43 - Police have started dragging protesters away from the Bishopsgate climate camp. Could take them a while as there are up to 2,000 people penned in at the camp.

[update 22:17 BST 1 April]
Police are using anti-terror laws to force people to delete pictures from their cameras. Democracy is under threat in this country. Riot police are putting masks on.

[update 22:03 BST 1 April]
Police getting ready to move in on Climate Camp. Helicopter overhead with spotlight on protest... but people keep dancing! They say everyone will be searched before they are allowed to leave. You don't have to give your name and address or co-operate with photo taking by police.

[update 21:39 BST 1 April]
Police trucks moving in at climate camp

[update 21:20 BST 1 April]
Police snatch squads targeting individuals on south side of Climate camp. A leading barrister, Jeannie Mackie, is reportedly trapped inside the camp.

[update 20:52 BST 1 April]
Sit down protest in front of police lines, blocks traffic on Wormwood Street. Climate Camp still penned in by police. London Bridge briefly taken by protesters but now cleared by cops.

11 am, the roundabout at end of Tidal Basin Road, E16 1AD.

Nearest working tube/DLR: Canning Town.

Please bring shoes, baby dolls, photos and other symbols of the death and destruction wreaked by the world's leaders.

  • Get the troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan
  • End the siege of Gaza – free Palestine
  • Create jobs not bombs
  • Stop arming Israel
  • Abolish all nukes

Called by Stop the War, CND, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, British Muslim Initiative

[update 20:43]
Protesters are being allowed to leave the Bank pen but only after being photographed and searched.

[update 19:41 BST 1 April]

Riot police baton charge at Threadneedle end of Climate Camp. People put hands up but still hit by police.

[update 18:44 BST 1 April]

Police attack crowd at Mansion House. Passersby caught up in riot police's random violence.

[update 18:00 BST 1 April]
Police are moving to pen in the Climate Camp.

[update 17:37 BST 1 April]
Celebrities spotted on the protests, participating or performing, include Rage Against the Machine, Billy Bragg, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Russell Brand.

Ahhh.... Another sad day for RBS

[update 17:20 BST 1 April]

The Battle of Threadneedle Street

Police have regained control at the HSBC branch that was attacked.

[17:10 BST 1 April]
Tesco on Old Broad Street is being blockaded, three people have super-glued themselves to the entrance in protest at big business taking over the high street. Small groups of protesters are now all over the City. Police tactics seem to be falling apart.

[update 16:47 BST 1 April]
Protesters are being seriously injured by riot cops on Queen Vic Street - no doubt the mainstream media reports will blame it all on 'anarchists' when in fact its been extremely aggressive policing all day that has been at the root of troubles.

[update 16:39 BST 1 April]
HSBC windows have been smashed on East Cheapside and there is now a large crowd congregating at Fenchurch St. - going to be a long day/night. Climate Camp is all peaceful and police are not moving in as yet. Camp plans to stay in situ overnight.

[update 16:30 BST 1 April]
The 11 persons arrested in the 'tank' are being processed at West End Central police station. A lot of protesters are being injured by truncheon-happy police over at the Bank. At the Trafalgar Square rally Arthur Scargill tells protestors the bankers should be getting "brass handcuffs not golden handshakes".

[update 16:20 BST 1 April]
At the Trafalgar Square rally Bruce Kent of CND and Tony Benn have attacked the media for hyping prospect of violence on today's protests. Trouble makers are in Downing St not on protests. Police have just charged into crowd at Threadneedle Street.

[update 15:37 BST 1 April]
Stop the War Coalition's Jobs not Bombs march is arriving now in Trafalgar Square. Around 5,000 on march. Some pubs in the City are stopping serving Beer. Standoff with police on Victoria Street.

[update 15:30 BST 1 April]
Riot police getting tooled up, pushing back crowds. Climate Camp now has over 150 tents, 2000 strong. Visteon factory occupations now on going at three sites, Basildon, Belfast and Enfield.

Barack Obama at the Climate Change Camp

[update 15:07 BST 1 April]
Big breakout from Bank of England pen. People headed down Victoria street. Riot police are pursuing and attacking demonstrators. RBS windows smashed. Police have enterd the RBS building apparently in pursuit of protesters. So far today there have been 19 arrests.

[update 14:50 BST 1 April]
Mounted police pushing crowd away from RBS. Few members of crowd throwing bottles

[update 14:41 BST 1 April]
Just got back from a tour of the main City flashpoints. Basically the Climate Camp is all pretty fluffy and carnival like., while at the Bank of England the people are trying to breakout and break in. Police seem to be waiting for the lunchtime bankers to go back t the office before they make a move. Alternatively they may wait until after work. Whatever they do, both gatherings are definitely getting bigger. Hope you all liked the pics, although the iPhone doesn't have the best camera in the world.

[update 13:20 BST 1 April]
Police refusing to let anyone leave city protest area. 50 cops just ran in to make arrests. Starting to get heated.

[update 13:16 BST 1 April]

POlice outnumbered at Bank - see BBC video here

[update 13:10 BST 1 April]
Over 30 tents now up at Bishopsgate. 'Nature doesn't do bailouts'. Great stuff. Minor scuffles breaking out at Bank. Climate Camp kitchen setup at 64 Bishopsgate: "Share and enjoy somosas for social change and cake for corporate collapse! - Love and lentils".

[update 12:45 BST 1 April]
At least 25 tents have been erected on Bishopsgate

[update 12:39 BST 1 April]
50 masked-up protesters have broken through the police roadblocks around Bank - heading up Cornhill.

[update 12:25 BST 1 April]
Police trying to reassert control at Bank. Closed all roads, stopping and searching anyone 'suspicious'. The people with the armoured vehicle - the 'spacehijackers' - are the ones the BBC reported as being arrested for impersonating police officers. The 'police uniforms' the BBC referred to were in fact just blue overalls!

[update 12:11 BST 1 April]
Green Climate Chaos march from Liverpool Street in Princess St. Bank tube station is now closed. Eight people arrested for being in possession of police uniforms according to the BBC.

[update 12:02 BST 1 April]
Climatecamp twitter reports police retreating at Bank of England, losing control! Police have been forced off Threadneedle Street. Yesssss! "who's streets, our streets"

[update 11:53 BST 1 April]
Up to 1,500 people from the Silver Financial Crimes march cross London Bridge and are now moving down King William street. Heavily flanked by police to prevent any breakaways

[update 11:49 BST 1 April]

Smash Capitalism banner drop - starting to kick off at the Bank of England

[update 11:44 BST 1 April]
Couple of hundred people have broken out of the police pen at Cannon Street - moving fast to outmanoeuvre cops. Protesters surrounding Bank of England chanting 'Storm the Bank' and 'Shame on you'.

Armoured vehicle protesters being arrested

[update 11:36 BST 1 April]

Around 50 people are outside Cannon Street Station with one of the four apocalypse horses. Completely penned in by police.

Liverpool Street green march of several hundred moving down Bisghopsgate despite police attempts to stop them.

[update 11:29 BST 1 April]
200 workers on the roof of the Visteon factory in Enfield. Anyone lives/works/studies up that way go and show your support:

Wharf Road, Enfield, EN3 4TN

[update 11:22 BST 1 April]
Around 500 people marching towards the Bank of England from London Bridge behind the 'Capitalism Isn't Working' banner last seen on Saturday's Put People First demo.

[update 11:17 BST 1 April]
London Bridge - First Apocalypse horse has appeared. Several hundred protesters gathered. Critical Mass cyclists have arrived at Tower Bridge.

[update 11.14 BST 1 April]
Police have dine their usual trick of penning in demonstrators - this time at Liverpool Street. A 'war of movement' not 'position' will be needed today by protesters.

[update 11:01 BST 1 April]
Police have arrested six demonstrators they describe as being in an 'armoured vehicle'.
Visteon factory occupied in Enfield following similar reported last night in Belfast. Factory is a parts supplier to Ford . Brilliant news - we're not going to just sit back and take it anymore!

About 100 police officers have 'occupied' the Climate exchange Building.

50 Critical Mass cyclists at RBS on Bishopsgate.

[update 10:21 BST 1 April]
The sun is shining but not inside the Bishopsgate branch of Carphone Warehouse.
There are now about 150 protesters outside the Bank of England. The incessant noise of hovering helicopters in getting on my nerves.

The powers that be are fretting that a Franco-German axis is emerging to say fuck you to the Anglo-Saxon axis that, as far as they are concerned, caused the mess in the first place. Hopefully it is all going pear-shaped for Brown before they even start stuffing their faces with quails eggs.

[update 10:07 BST 1 April]

Picked this rag up on the way into the City - they really have no idea what a real siege looks like.

Protesters are arriving at the Bank of England.

What's going on where map

click here for map
Squaring up to the square mile map

[update 08:49 BST 1 April]

Payne House convergence - Earl Street, EC2A 2AL - centre still open despite police raids:
We encourage people to arrive in groups in possible. We also recommend that you contact us to check the current status of things and advised routes prior to arrival: 07532 220513.

See maps for demo assembly pointsetc below

[update 08:45 BST 1 April]

Alternative London Summit to occupy University of East London at 4.00pm

Despite management efforts to shut down the Alternative London Summit on Wednesday 1st April organisers and speakers are committed to making sure the event goes ahead at the University of East London as planned.

Occupation commences at 4pm. At 6pm there will be a press conference held at University of East London in the East Building, room 1.12. Speeches commence at 6pm across two lecture theatres.

[update 08:05 BST 1 April]
Obama has just arrived at Downing Street.

More importantly, as we reported yesterday on GS, the police are likely to use Taser guns on protesters, although this morning they are denying it - like they denied they would use anti-terror laws, but have done so.

[update 07:45 BST 1 April]
Police make first arrests in Shoreditch after more buildings squatted. Police use Ant-Terror laws after saying they would only be using Public Order laws. Going by the aggression shown in the searching, harassment and arrests its seems like police officers are looking for a fight. MP David Howarth is liaising with cops and some demonstrators (Climate Camp) and say police and protesters have different perspective on what 'proportionately' means - cops are saying if traffic disrupted they will move in while protesters are determined to reach assembly points whatever.

[update 22:19 BST 31 March]

G20 convergence space (otherwise known as a squat) at Payne House, Earl Street, EC2A 2AL

The space is non-affiliated and welcomes all activist groups (as long as they agree to the 'safer spaces' policy and respect the ideals of the space) - not sure what those ideals are but pop along tonight or tomorrow morning and find out.

[update 21:25 BST 31 March]
Obama lands in London while Sarko threatens to upset the party by not signing final communique unless there is tighter regulation of financial markets, especially hedge funds.

Meanwhile on the ground London is being locked down at a cost that is probably a lot more than the £20million the government claims.

What's going on where map

click here for map
Squaring up to the square mile map (the map the Evening Standard refuses to provide reference for even though it is easily available through a quick google - paranoid or what!)
"While details on the map are in the public domain, its publication on the internet will make it easier for protesters to co-ordinate actions and identify targets."

[update 18:01 BST 31 March] Boarding up in the City tonight

[update 17:26 BST 31 March]

Sacked workers occupy car plant
More than 100 workers have staged a sit-in at a factory in west Belfast, the Unite trade union has said.
More at BBC

Now that's anti-capitalism in action

Flying into a storm: Air Force one is in the air

[update 17:03 BST 31 March]
Under the headline: Anarchists plan to storm City banks, the London Evening Standard has pumped out another salacious piece tonight from their under cover reporter who has been hanging around in Shoreditch. The paper claims anarchists plan to enter the City by stealth, 'disguised as peaceful protesters'. What a load of garbage.
"The anarchists intend to use two of these marches, the Black Horse and the Green Horse, as cover so they can get into the City. At last night's meeting, the group discussed whether to go in one block or in smaller swarms."
Yeah right. What is more likely is that police agent provocateurs will give the police an excuse to attack demonstrators if the self-styled elitist anarchists haven't already achieved that feat.

Meanwhile Gordon Brown warns ominouslt that there will be zero tolerance of violence, unless its delivered by Her Majesty's armed forces in far off climes:
"No violence can be tolerated. No intimidation of people will be allowed. The police will act very quickly if there is any threat to people or property."

[update 16:00 BST 31 March]
First bit of graffiti spotted in the City - "Storm the Banks".

Suspect there will be a lot more by day-break tomorrow. It does brighten up the drab corporate persona of many City buildings. The old geezer at the bus stop said of the anti-capitalist protesters, "Good luck to 'em," which was nice to hear given all the usual press hostility.

Also, businesses have started boarding up, although in some cases it's difficult to tell whether it is recession woes that has shutdown some commercial premises or fear of 'violent protesters'.

[update 15:48 BST 31 March]

A march for jobs, in the tradition of the Jarrow Marchers, has been called to the G20 on 2 April. This march will visit all 4 of the poorest boroughs in London, assembling at Camberwell Green at 9am, marching past parliament and the Bank of England, through Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Newham finishing at the G20 meeting at around 4pm.

The march route image below is the plan, and organisers have been negotiating with police over the route and times - so check the website beforehand to verify details.

Google map:

[update 15:17 GMT 31 March]



YES WE CAN MARCH - Get the troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq - End the Siege
of Gaza/free Palestine - Make Jobs not bombs - Abolish all Nukes - Stop selling
arms to Israel.

ASSEMBLE 2PM US EMBASSY, Grosvenor Square, W1K 4AF.
Nearest tubes Bond Street and Green Park.
Called by Stop the War, CND, The Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the British
Muslim Initiative.

We will be marching through central London to Trafalgar Square.

Tony Benn; Arthur Scargill; Susan George; Bruce Kent, CND; Lindsey German, Stop
the War Coalition; Dr Mahathir Mohamed, ex President of Malaysia; Daud
Abduallah, Muslim Council of Britain; Jeremy Corbyn MP; Keith Sonnet, UNISON;
Victoria Brittain; Alan Simpson MP, Billy Hayes,CWU; Ismail Patel, BMI;
Mohammed Umar, Ramadan Foundation.

PERFORMERS INCLUDE: Lowkey, Julie Felix and Reem Kalani

11 am, the roundabout at end of Tidal Basin Road, E16 1AD.
Nearest working tube/DLR: Canning Town.

Please bring shoes, baby dolls, photos and other symbols of the death and
destruction wreaked by the world's leaders.

[update 15:02 GMT 31 March]
City of London police (as opposed to the Met who are the real thugs) out on patrol, to re-assure the investment bankers.

[update 13:56 GMT 31 March]

Click here to book coach ticket

There will be an international demonstration and counter summit at the NATO meeting in Strasbourg on 2-5 April 2009.

Anti-war groups from across the world will meet to oppose any further expasion of NATO and demand an end to the occupation of Afghanistan.

[update 13:00 GMT 31 March]
Just to add to the problems for the boys and girls in blue, bikers are holding a protest today against proposals to charge them for parking inside the congestion zone - more taxation without representation. Parking has long been used as a revenue-raising scam by London Boroughs.

MEGA DEMO: Tuesday, 31st March 2009, meet between 5pm-6.15pm, Trafalgar Square/Whitehall/Parliament Square/Westminster City Hall at 7pm

[update 12:18 GMT 31 March]

What's going on where map

click here for map

[update 11:55 GMT 31 March]
Hearing reports from lecturers at a number of Further Education colleges in London of students planning to join the protests. For those that don't know FE colleges are attended overwhelmingly by 16 plus working class kids. If they show up in numbers things could get very interesting indeed.

[update 11:13 GMT 31 March]
The Guardian reports on the so-called 'bomb plot' this morning and it turns out to be something more akin to preparing for a fireworks display. Leaving aside the lack of evidence of any bomb plot the interesting part in the article is when the reporter at the police press conference asks the police about the widely reported 'extremist' literature they came across during their enquiries that took place over the weekend. This is what the Devon and Cornwall Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton said:
"It's political, it relates to political organisations, it's not extreme but it's a different political view. It leads to motives and things like that."
Does this mean it is now illegal to have views on the world at variance with the Daily Telegraph?

[update 10:08 GMT 31 March]

The cops are worried that building sites like this one photographed in the City this morning will provide a readily available source of ammunition for 'missiles'.

[update 08:16 GMT 31 March]
The police used tear gas last night inside the House of Commons on a couple of journalists. The confidence of the police to use their 'enhanced restraining methods' on absolutely anyone in any circumstances is a bit disturbing. If they feel free to use tear gas in parliament on journalists we can only guess at how many times they will be getting their electro-shock Tasers out on protesters.

By the way, lemon juice provides an excellent antidote for the effects of tear gas as more experienced hands told us at the Genoa anti-G8 protests when the police went on the rampage, killing one demonstrator and severely beating others.

The notorious right-wing rag otherwise known as The Sun newspaper reports today that the Home Secretary (interior minister) Jacqui Smith could be sacked if there is a serious 'outbreak of disorder' tomorrow. If this is true, which is by no means certain where this newspaper's reporting is concerned, it could be taken as an incentive to have a riot - not that Gaza Solidarity is inciting anyone to do such a thing.

[update 17:30 GMT 30 March]
They are really winding it up on this one. So called 'bomb' plot seems to amount to an imitation kalashnikov, some fireworks and some 'extremist' political literature - but these people from Plymouth are unfortunately probably going to go down for a relatively long time for their foolishness - despite the fact that the only crime committed was the criminal damage involved in spraying some grafitti. The story is no longer the lead on the BBC website but it has certainly helped to spread fear in the run up to Wednesday's demos.

Pic from Saturday's demo - not a single arrest was reported, despite the media hype

[update 15:44 30 March 2009]

------ LATEST DEMO/ACTION/EVENTS DETAILS April 1st and 2nd-------

Stop the War - Assemble Wednesday 1 April, US Embassy, Grosvenor Square at 2pm

Details of transport to the protest
Protest route

The leaders of the world’s big powers will meet at the G20 summit in London on 2 April.

It is Barack Obama’s first visit to Britain. It is our chance to demand a change from Bush’s war policies.

  • Get the troops out of Iraq & Afghanistan
  • End the siege of Gaza – free Palestine
  • Create jobs not bombs
  • Stop arming Israel
  • Abolish all nukes
Climate Camp protesters are urged to assemble at the European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW (street view) at 12:30 exactly.

Climate Emergency Ice-berg Demonstration @ G20 ExCel:
12.30pm Excel Centre, Royal Victoria DLR
A demo for "Fossil Fools Day" 12.30 pm. to 7.30 pm. (evening rally 6.30 pm) With a giant ice block, participants dressing in white - all welcome.

The Four Horsefolk of the Apocalypse will lead the carnival parades. Converge from 11 a.m. to move off at 11.30 from these rail stations:

•Moorgate Red horse: War
•Liverpool St Green horse: Climate chaos
•London Bridge Silver horse: Financial crimes
•Cannon Street Black horse: home, land, equality and self sufficiency in honour of the 360th full circle anniversary to the day of the Diggers and their claim: THE LAND: A COMMON TREASURY FOR ALL!

Each parade will have fitting music and many in costume. Bring flags. Bring tea-making facilities (including water and kindling). A map of the city, in case you get lost. And cake. You can't have a revolution without cake.

We have a choir, a jazz outfit, a samba band and a protest muscian's collective. We invite all musicians to come and join in at the bank.

Thursday 2nd April - G20 Day

Various calls for actions around the G20 Summit

*G20 Meltdown promises....:
Early a.m. we're going to bang on their hotel doors, @ the Excel Centre, Canning town to deliver our message of a world beyond capitalism.

*Youth March for Jobs
9am Camberwell Green - jarrow style long march across london to G20 ExCel @ 4pm
For route see: /

*Jobs Not Bombs G20 Summit ExCel Demo:
11am at the Excel Centre.
Called by Stop the War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, The British Muslim Initiative and CND

[update 13:30 30 March 2009]

The Guardian is reporting the arrest of five people, initially thought to be Greek, but in fact British.

Police say the five are not connected to any terrorist organisation. Assuming this isn't a police fit up it will certainly provide the state with more excuses for clamping down on legitimate and lawful protests.

The Guardian source said: "I think it was more designed to disrupt than injur or kill."

It's also emerged that the entire CCTV network in central London may have to be turned off because of a legal ruling, although I suspect the government will find a way around this.

More importantly, it has been revealed today all decisions on financial spending commitments are to be deferred to a later meeting. Or to put it another way - this G20 meeting is a waste of time and money.

[update 13:00 GMT 30 March 2009]
Five people, described as political activists were arrested today accused of being involved in a G20 'explosives plot'.

[update - 12:27 GMT 30 March 2009]
This poster has started appearing across London in the same week that we 'welcome' world leaders to London.

Subtext = protesters could be terrorists. Trying to turn us all into a nation of paranoid little McCarthyites.

And this one suggests we search our neighbour's bins to stop a dirty bomb attack: "These chemicals wont be used in a bomb because a neighbour reported the dumped containers."
I always knew the police were stupid but this is incredible.

[update 28 March 2009 17:30 GMT] Well that was a great demo, although a lot quieter than what we are used to on anti-war and Gaza demos, but the anger is undoubtedly growing. It was probably the biggest turn out of trade unionists on a demo for 10 years or so and if the stewarding is anything to go by the unions are a bit out of practice.

We reported earlier that the police seemed to have split the march in two. In fact because of the poor stewarding the march became split of its own accord and half of the march got slowed down behind the big white banner emblazoned with 'Capitalism Isn't Working' (see pic).

There was no trouble and I haven't heard of a single arrest on the march and by all accounts it has been well reported on the broadcast media in the UK. A great start to a week of protests.

[update 14:30GMT] For reasons only known to the police they have split the demo in half. Demo estimates are approx. 40,000 but difficult to estimate as it isn't all in the park.

[Update -12:48 GMT] for latest pics and news go to homepage

[UPDATE - 08:45 GMT 28/3/09 - ]The Alternative Summit to be held at the University of East London's docklands campus has been cancelled due to 'security concerns'.

So did the university or police think that anti-capitalist protesters were going to attack and anti-capitalist event? This is a disturbing case of repression as the state uses security excuses to take for itself ever more draconian powers.

For example, it is now illegal to take photographs of police officers. Does this mean if press photographers see someone being violently arrested by the police they cannot take a picture to record the incident?

BBC Global Questions

This took place yesterday (Friday 27th) at the London Stock Exchange. Programme goes out on BBC World TV and World Service this weekend. I'm the one who made the comment about giving money to poor people not the banks. Didn't manage to mention Palestine/Gaza but the whole thing was geared to the G20. A vote taken on whether anyone thought the G20 would achieve anything found over two-thirds of the audience thought not.

The most interesting/left-wing panellist was probably the Archbiship of York who pointed out that Christianity and Islam both outlawed usury, providing a good explanation of Karl Marx's 'simple exchange' equation: commodity-money-commodity as opposed to capitalist exchange: money-commodity-money(1), where M(1) is a bigger sum of money.

All very interesting but must get off to the Embankment now for the start of today's demo. Gary

As world leaders gather in London, Gaza Solidarity will be joining protesters fighting for social justice against the bankers and for justice for Palestine.

Our live updates will begin tomorrow at the Put People First demonstration, supported by the Stop the War Coalition, marching from Victoria Embankment in central London (assembling at 11am) to Hyde Park.

Updates will be via iPhone so apologies in advance for even more typos than usual.

For a more balanced view on the build up to the protests and the media's paranoia about 'anarchists' and 'violence' see Lenin's Tomb's:
Bloodying the G20 protests

If there is violence on the protests it will be the police that are responsible, as they were in Italy when 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani was killed by police at the G8 protests in Genoa - See picture above: Assassins" is carried by demonstrators through downtown Rome Tuesday, July 24, 2001. Tens of thousands of people marched through the streets of various Italian cities to remember the death of 23-year-old Carlo Giuliani, a protester shot dead by Carabinieri during the G8 protests in Genoa. (Photo: Paolo Cito)

And if you want to know why protesters don't have much time for the great British police it could be because the same cops that beat Babar Ahmad have been involved in at least 60 other assaults on mostly Black and Asian people. They go under the name of the Territorial Support Group. A similar bunch of racists/fascists in uniform were behind the killing of Blair Peach at an Anti Nazi League demo in Southall in 1979 - the notorious Special Patrol Group. It appears they are now trading under a different name.

Useful links:

Put People First | We Won't Pay For Their Crisis | Stop the War Coalition | Palestine Solidarity Campaign | The British Muslim Initiative | Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament |G20 Meltdown | Climate Camp G20 | Manchester G20 |

Below we reproduce one of the many guidance notices being issued by companies and property managers in the City of London. They think the revolution is going to start...
Dear Tenants

Please be advised, demonstrations will be taking place in London on the 1st &2nd April, see attached. Please inform your staff to carry their Building security pass with them at all times when entering the buildings.

Report – Protests around G20 in London

The G20 summit meeting to discuss the current world financial crises occurs in London on the 2nd April 2009 at the Excel Conference Centre, Docklands.

Before activists became aware of the above summit the 1st April 2009 usually Fossil Fools Day had been declared Financial Fools Day (FFD) and instead of a day of protest against those industries involved mining, drilling or power, demonstrations were to take place against financial institutions partly due to the current crises and partly due to some of these companies investments in unethical projects or industries.

The Unions and workforces throughout the UK have been concerned about job losses and in particular foreign workers taking ‘British’ jobs. To display to the Government and the G20 their concerns, a Jobs, Justice & Climate march occurs on Saturday 28th March 2009.

March in central London for Jobs, Justice, & Climate

On 28 March 2009 thousands of people will march through London as part of a global campaign to challenge the G20 to put people first.

The march will start on Victoria Embankment and move past Trafalgar Square and Green Park to Hyde Park, where there will be a mass rally. People should gather from 11am on Victoria Embankment by Temple tube station on March 28th.

Meetings are in the process of being organised for this protest in the following areas:
West London – Reading – Harpenden - Bath/Bristol – Birmingham – Nottingham – Leeds – Sheffield and Edinburgh

A Double Decker bus has already been arranged to take marchers from Southampton.

This demonstration will potentially have tens of thousands of protesters; most present will represent the Unions. Similar marches and demonstrations in the past have been completely free of public disorder problems. In Hyde Park there will be speeches and afterwards the vast majority present will disperse. Smaller more ‘extremist’ groups of protesters may conduct protests at favoured targets but are just as likely to adjourn to a public house.

Financial Fools Day – Wednesday 1st April 2009

The April 1st protests have in the past been instigated by the Rising Tide groups which are situated around the world. The London Rising Tide is however the most prominent. This year the protest has in a sense been ‘hi jacked’ by the Camp for Climate Action who have declared that they intend to hold a mini climate camp in the City on this date.

The planners of the event have called themselves the G20 Meltdown and over the last few weeks devised the plan of action for the protests on the 1st April.

The following is the format of the leaflet which will be used to advertise the event. There may be changes but these will only be to the wording on the leaflet and not the plans outline
G20 Meltdown invites you to
London’s biggest ever street party!
April 1, Financial Fools Day, 12 noon @ The Bank of England
At 11 a.m. Weds, April 1 2009, parades will form up at four railway stations around the edge of the City of London – Moorgate, Liverpool St, London Bridge and Cannon St – and snake their way to the Bank of England for 12 noon. Each procession will be headed by one of the
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
War (Red horse @ Moorgate);
Climate chaos (Green horse @ Liverpool St);
Money crimes (Silver horse @ London Bridge);
Land-grabbers (Black horse @ Cannon St).
Banquet at the Bank
Bankers get bonuses while people lose their jobs and homes.
Trial against capitalism. Bring food, fun and games to share with the family. Join the Silver horse to eat the bankers in a zombie block!y
Press Charges for War Crimes
Millions dead in Iraq. Genocide in Gaza. More troops heading to Afghanistan…Join the Red horse with messages of peace.
The Rainforest in the City
Climate chaos, deforestation, mass extinction…
Giant anacondas, polar bears and penguins.
Join the Green horse with animal masks and greenery for gorilla invasion of the urban jungle.
The World Turns Full Circle
The 360thanniversary of the Diggers, English Revolutionaries for the Earth – ‘a Common Treasury for All’. For all those who are homeless, landless or under threat of repossession.
Join the Black horse with diggers’ spades and hats.

There are other leaflets advertising the event (attached).

From the above circulation it is now certain that the theme of the actions on the 1st April 2009 (Financial Fools Day) is the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. This theme is further divided into War, Climate Chaos, Money Crimes and Land Grabbers.

Each ‘Horseman Theme’ will depart from a main railway station (listed above) and make their way to the Bank of England where they will converge and hold the protest which is being described as a ‘banquet at the bank’, in effect a street party.

Protesters in their ‘Horseman’ group will dress according to the theme, the ‘Money Crimes’ march will have participants dressed as zombies, the War theme will have a peace or anti military theme and war criminals being paraded, the Climate Chaos theme will have protesters dressed as polar bears and penguins and this theme will have the ‘giant anaconda’, whilst the Land Grabbers will have demonstrators in hard hats and carrying shovels (representing the diggers of the 1600’s).

The four themes appears to be to encourage protest from a variety of movements not just climate change. Attracting others say from the peace and anti war movements will increase the numbers.

The above plan of action is similar to that employed on the J18 Carnival Against Capitalism protest which occurred on the 18th June 1999. The above protest is renowned for the public order violence that occurred including an incursion into the Liffe Building in Upper Thames Street. A number of marches met up at a central point and held a street party; the police were ill prepared and eventually the ‘party’ turned to violence.

What is not mentioned on the circulation is what is to occur after the ‘banquet at the bank’. There have been calls for those with cooking skills to come forward, which indicates that a ‘camp’ is still planned.

Whether this camp is sited outside the Bank of England or at another location nearby is still unclear. It is expected that the police tactics will have a bearing on what the ‘camp’ is able to achieve.

The organisers are hoping that this day of protest attracts at least the number seen at climate camps over the last couple of years (1-1500). Details of the protest are being circulated in German and probably French and Spanish to attract protesters from the continent. G8 Summit demonstrations which is the nearest to the G 20 attract tens of thousands of protesters, however the UK’s island situation will restrict access.

There is a high risk of serious public disorder on this day.

G20 Summit – Excel Conference Centre

The main day of the summit is Thursday 2nd April 2009. At present no details of planned protest have been released although activists are known to be researching the area. The Excel Centre has in the past been used to host the DSEi Arms Fair. This arms fair has attracted protest which usually results in disorder issues.

Protest at the arms fair is organised by anti war and anti armaments groups. It has been suggested that those intending to protest at the summit seek advice from the anti war protesters over police tactics and weaknesses.

It is likely that peace and anti armaments protesters intend to mount their own protest at the summit, however with President Obama reducing troop numbers in Iraq and being positive over Afghanistan and Gaza, protest by these groups is likely to be small.

What will probably be planned is that those ‘camping’ in the City of London march on Excel or to an appointed location to meet with other protest groups before moving onto Excel.


The first of the demonstration is on Saturday 28th March 2009, which is likely to attract tens of thousands of trade unionist and workers. This protest is intended to be peaceful and will probably be so.

Financial Fools Day occurs on Wednesday 1st April 2009. The plan is for four processions of protesters to meet up outside the Bank of England where in effect a street party will occur. A ‘camp’ is to be sited here or close by. The protest will attract up to 2,000 protesters and there is a strong possibility that there will be disorder during the day.

The G20 Summit occurs on Thursday 2nd April 2009 at the Excel Centre in Docklands. Details of planned protest are not clear however it is likely that the plan is for the ‘campers’ to join other protesters at a pre arranged meeting point before moving towards Excel. Again there is a strong possibility that there will be disorder at some point.

Individual actions by small affinity groups will also occur or be attempted during this period (28th March to 3rd April 2009)

For the 1st April 2009 it is clear that protesters intend to disrupt business in the City, they will claim through peaceful protest but as is being seen more and more the groups do not particularly care if businesses or the public are inconvenienced or lose revenue.

The Police response will determine how much the protesters achieve and whether business is disrupted and if so by how much. It is highly likely that the police will not allow a ‘camp’ to occur and will restrict where the processions are allowed to march. The policing response will also determine what occurs the following day, although what usually happens when the police restrict these groups plans is that disorder breaks out in effect the police are in a no win situation but will hopefully minimise problems caused during the protests.

Mutual Management plc
Paranoid or what!