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article imageLondon Braces for G20 Protests Next Week

By Lisa Devaney     Mar 27, 2009 in Politics
With world leaders gathering in London for the G20 summit next week, the city prepares for what police say may be violent protests
Protestors and police are getting ready for next week’s Group of 20 summit gathering in the UK’s capitol city, with protest groups making banners and packing camping gear, and the authorities calling for all staff police to be on hand for the event.
Police have warned that they may see violent activity among some of the more radical protestors, and have said they are watching individuals and groups, including the busy chatter happening on the internet. Previous summit gatherings in Australia and Germany have triggered violent clashes between police and protestors.
Several protest groups are planning to be present in London next week, including a “Put People First” rally happening Saturday, March 28th, and a “Storm the Banks” protest taking place Wednesday, April 1st.
The “Put People First” organizers are saying in their literature that “Capitalism isn’t in crisis, capitalism IS crisis!”
Online groups have been organizing and announcing happenings using forums, Facebook and Twitter, with a group called g20Meltdown announcing calls to action frequently, through the alias representative Comandante Flops who has said via Twitter:
“Why are we keeping our money in the banks? The interest is rubbish. Let's take it out and keep it in our pockets”
“When asked about predictions of violence we say: We would hope the police can keep their truncheons in their belts, but who knows?”
“Need not greed. Our money: your nemesis. Rush not riot. This planet: a common treasury for all. No more War. What would Jesus do? Ideas pls.”
Musician Billy Bragg
Billy Bragg is known for his social activist-laden lyrics and for sticking up for labour unions
Photo by neil365
Musician Billy Bragg is joining the protest effort, and reports that he will be singing at the Storm The Bank protest have showed up among his fans.
The group Climate Camp, who have also been active in protesting against the expansion of Heathrow airport, are planning a “swoop” of the city on April 1st at 12:30 p.m., gathering for the European Climate Exchange, Hasilwood House, 62 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AW. They’ve invited members to bring camping gear to set up for a long protest, rallying participants sharing anger about the financial crisis by stating on their website that:
“First the city traders speculated with our homes, jobs and money – with disastrous results. Now they are speculating with our climate and the very future of life on earth – and once again our governments are cheering them on.”
With the numerous activities planned, police have forewarned city workers of potential danger, encouraging central London and financial district businesses in Canary Warf to cancel scheduled meetings. Notice has also been given that all police officers will not be able to take leave of absence during the G20 summit.
The Guardian has a full listing of protests happening around the capitol, and further information can be found listed on UK Indymedia.
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