16 held, 46 hurt as carnival turns to carnage across Square Mile

THE COST of cleaning up the carnage left in the City of London by violent clashes between anarchist demonstrators and police last week is expected to run into several millions pounds.

At least 16 people were arrested on public order offences in Friday's mob violence which left 46 people in hospital including six police officers and two demonstrators. CCTV footage may reveal the identities of other suspects.

Police said the 4,000 marchers turned from peaceful protest to riot when the demonstration was hi-jacked by anarchists, intent on organised violence, who targeted unprotected police.

City of London officers said the campaigners had a track record of extreme violence and had refused to co-operate with police in route-planning the "Carnival Against Capitalism" march. Protesters say police inflamed the situation by using officers in riot gear. In the worst street violence since the poll tax riots in 1990, police were attacked with bricks and concrete blocks. A Daimler and a Mercedes were set alight and protesters used scaffolding poles to smash into banks and trading firms. One motorist was dragged from his car and doused in bleach.

The protests are understood to have been organised through the Internet by an umbrella movement called J18, for June 18, timed to coincide with the Group of Eight economic summit in Cologne, attended by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Separate J18 groups, including environmentalists Reclaim The Streets and Jubilee 2000, were protesting against capitalism, saying it is destroying the environment and forcing millions into poverty.

James Hart, assistant commissioner for City of London police, said between 5,000 and 10,000 people had been expected and his 800 officers were briefed with units from the Metropolitan and British Transport Police. The protest started peacefully, with a few hundred marchers in the City but by early afternoon the numbers swelled to about 4,000, gathering at Liverpool Street Station.

"Clearly these people came to the City yesterday with the full intention of causing mayhem," said Mr Hart. "The situation changed at Liverpool Street when a very carefully organised crowd split into four parts, and aimed their violence at unprotected police officers. We tried to remove the focus of the violence, which at that time was the police and thought ... the violence would end, but it did not."

Lord Levene, Lord Mayor of the City of London, dubbed the offenders "terrorists". He said: "If you have people throwing bricks and scaffolding then the police have to have protection in the form of riot gear. Usually people holding demonstrations talk to the police before. In this case they refused."

But one protester, Mark Lines, told BBC Radio4's Today programme: "Police in full riot gear and looking extremely offensive charged at the demonstrators and started attacking them."

Ann Widdecombe, shadow home secretary, called for an investigation. "Every year there are hundreds of demonstrations in London and there have been emotional ones which the police have controlled. In this case something went wrong and we have to find out what," she said.

"There has been a severe drop in the police force which is something Jack Straw [the Home Secretary] has to take responsibility for. But it is no good blaming the police if individuals are causing trouble. You cannot describe this as a protest. It was about violence."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
Australia vs New Zealand live
cricket Follow over-by-over coverage as rivals New Zealand and Australia face off
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Life and Style
Researchers found that just 10 one-minute swill-and-spit sessions are enough to soften tooth enamel and make teeth vulnerable to erosion
health
News
i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
The Regent Street Cinema’s projection room in the 1920s
film
News
Leah Devine is only the ninth female to have made the Young Magician of the Year final since the contest began more than 50 years
peopleMeet the 16-year-old who has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year
News
Jonathan Anderson was born in Northern Ireland but now based between London, where he presents a line named JW Anderson
peopleBritish designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
News
Andy Davidhazy at the beginning (left) and end (right) of his hike
video
News
Taylor Swift is applying to trademark song lyrics from 1989
people
Voices
The popularity of TV shows such as The Liver Birds encouraged Liverpudlians to exaggerate their Scouse accent
voicesWe exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing