London G20: Bank of England

Politics.co.uk
Politics.co.uk

By politics.co.uk staff

Police are in the process of letting demonstrators disperse from the main demonstration in the City of London, after sporadic outbursts of violence throughout the day.

View our correspondent's updates from the City in full below

Our correspondent said many demonstrators had been seen covered in bloods as thousands converged to the area around the Bank of England.


At the event named G20 Meltdown, a coalition of anarchists and anti-capitalists joined members of the public angry at the government's response to the financial crisis.

"Police have formed a sterile zone around the first line of riot police. So there is a small group of demonstrators trapped around the Bank of England," our correspondent on the ground said.

"Then 100m away there is a second line of officers blocking off all entrances to the square. There really is no way in or out, regardless of media accreditation."

Reports emerged of bottles being thrown and police throwing punches at protestors. At least one demonstrator said he had been struck by a police baton.

Earlier controversial comic Russell Brand was spotted in the crowd, while the University of East London anthropologist suspended last week for inciting criminal action against bankers has been waxing lyrical.

"We've won the revolution," Professor Chris Knight told politics.co.uk. "If nobody believes in the government it doesn't exist."

Officers in Bishopsgate gate area stopped an armoured vehicle under the Road Traffic Act. The 11 people inside were all arrested, some for being in possession of police uniform.








Our correspondent Ian Dunt's updates from the Bank of England in full:

22:36: We're getting reports that a man in his thirties has collapsed and died. It's a tragic end to a very long day.

21:43: Fierce running batttles have been taking place around area surrounding London Bridge. Protesters have been throwing bottles and rubbish at police. Police retaliated baton charges, forcing demonstrators across the bridge. "An ugly mood has taken over," our correspondent says. Over at the climate camp, green activists have dug in, and promise to be there for 24 hours.

19:17: More from our correspondent: "In the last half hour demonstrators penned in around the Bank of England charged the police, but apparently to no avail. From the perimeter, there's a lot of smoke, the smell of which is pervasive. Police say the demonstrators are setting things on fire. Current police estimates say the protestors will be penned in there for some hours yet. One riot policeman told me they would be allowed out once they stopped throwing things at the police, although protestors would of course counter that they will stop throwing things if the police let them out. There's very few people around the perimeter now - most demonstrators having given up and gone home."

18:36: Our correspondent says: "Police have now formed a secondary sterile zone around the first line of riot police. So there's a small group of demonstrators trapped around the Bank of England, then a hundred metres away there's a second line of police blocking off all entrances to the square. Theres really no way in, regardless of media accreditation or not."

17:52: Still no sign of an end to the protest in the City. Our correspondent has spoken to at least one demonstrator struck over the head with a police baton.

Jack Bright said he stepped in to help a friend who had been hit and was struck in the head by the same policeman twice before his friends dragged him back.

15:40: "Police have made a big push down Queen Victoria Street, previously the crowds were outside HSBC when all the staff outside HSBC were inside looking out of the window. Crowd started shouting 'shame on you'. They're shouting it now.

"The police made a big push down Queen Victoria Street; everyone ran away. From what I can tell they're just trying to separate all the groups around this junction. There's been a standoff here now for about the last hour.

"Bottles are being thrown. One just narrowly missed a demonstrator. The police line is surrounded on both sides by a lot of demonstrators. It's unclear whether they will be able to maintain that line."

14:57 - "It's all gone a little bit crazy.

"On the corner of Queen Victoria Street and Queen Street riot police started pushing people around.

"An impromptu march started and the police panicked and started pushing the protestors back and managed to separate two groups of demonstrators.

"There are hundreds of officers in one big block."

16:45 - "Police are pushing protestors down Queen Victoria street away from HSBC.

"There are people covered in blood and the police are being quite aggressive."

16:37 - "Riot police are pushing people back towards the demo from the corner of Mansion Street.

"The police are dressed in black and are very imposing."

16:04 - Professor Chris Knight, an expert in anthropology at the University of East London for 20 years before being suspended last week for inciting criminal action against bankers is among the protestors.

"We've won the revolution," he told our correspondent.

"If nobody believes in the government it doesn't exist."

15:40 - "Police have made a big push down Queen Victoria Street, previously the crowds were outside HSBC when all the staff outside HSBC were inside looking out of the window. Crowd started shouting 'shame on you'. They're shouting it now.

"The police made a big push down Queen Victoria Street; everyone ran away. From what I can tell they're just trying to separate all the groups around this junction. There's been a standoff here now for about the last hour.

"Bottles are being thrown. One just narrowly missed a demonstrator. The police line is surrounded on both sides by a lot of demonstrators. It's unclear whether they will be able to maintain that line."

14:57 - "It's all gone a little bit crazy.

"On the corner of Queen Victoria Street and Queen Street riot police started pushing people around.

"An impromptu march started and the police panicked and started pushing the protestors back and managed to separate two groups of demonstrators.

"There are hundreds of officers in one big block."

14:45 - "The police line has completely broken down. The different protests have joined together and demonstrators are being pushed back as police attempt regain control.

"A man just got punched in the face by a police officer as protestors continue to try and break the line."

14:05 - Police officers have entered the Bank of England in a bid to boost what they call "building security".

13:56 - "An anarchist wearing a black balaclava and a black hooded top has shimmied up a column near the Bank of England and erected a number of banners, while around 1,000 protestors watch on.

"Edgy and nervous security guards look on, not sure what he's going to do next."

13:50 - "Riot police have now arrived, with blue helmets and truncheons.

"They're standing behind the regular police officers."

13:12 - "Someone got punched in the face... it looked like a girl. A police officer in a bubble was set upon. His colleagues rushed forwards to hold back the crowd... about 20 to 25 policemen totally surrounded demonstrators," our correspondent reports.

"The situation now seems to have calmed down."

13:11 - "Protestors are telling police officers at the front of the line that they are breaching their human rights by keeping them in one place.

"Several officers have told demonstrators they do not agree with the tactics being employed.

"Police are still talking to demonstrators."

12:53 - "People now want to get out, there is an element of growing irritation," our correspondent reports.

"People are claiming they are being denied their right to peacefully protest."

12:34 - "We are now completely blocked off... stopped from getting in and getting out."

Father Keith Smith, a vicar from West Suffolk, when asked why he was here, told our correspondent: "I am disgusted with the way the government is no longer backing the climate change agenda.

"The most vulnerable people in the world will suffer more, just so we can get some of the richest people in the world back to what they're used to... And I consider myself one of the richer people in the world by the way."

12:22 - The mood is still OK; police are forming a border around edge of the protest.

"It doesn't look like it's going to stay that way."

"Whenever businessmen or bankers look down from their windows they are greeted with cries of "jump", our correspondent reports.

12:05 "There is a very mixed crowd outside the Bank of England."

"There are communists brandishing red hammer and sickle flags, anarchists dressed entirely in black, lots of ordinary members of the public and elderly people protesting against the economy."

Andy, a former IT worker among the protestors, told politics.co.uk: "We're not all anti-capitalists or anarchists.

"We're just over 50, out of work and living on our savings. And I can't get a job for love or money."

11:40 - "A group of hardcore protestors from the Black Bloc have joined the demonstration, diving into the sterile zone between two marches.

"Slightly bemused-looking bankers looking down from their offices around the Bank of England have been waving notes from their wallets."

11:24 - The party atmosphere has faded slightly already.

From our correspondent: "Minor scuffles have broken out as police attempt to hold the line as the delegation heads to the Bank of England.

"There are at least 1,500 people here."

11:19 The crowd has left the station going towards the Bank of England.

"The crowd is good natured... there is a party atmosphere with a minimal police presence," our correspondent writes.

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