The Protest Groups: Who is on the new radical fringe?

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An umbrella organisation which disseminated information about the ecological and anti-capitalist protests held in London and 42 other countries last Friday. Information about the protests was published on the Internet, and links were provided to web-sites of participating groups. The freedom to publish uncensored information is cherished by fringe political groups, which believe it heralds a new age of co-ordinated international protest.

Critical Mass

A well established, peaceful protest group which meets on the last Friday of each month and believes in gathering enough cyclists to force home its point: "Cyclists are treated as second-class road users." They were the first to demonstrate last Friday, and their protest passed off peacefully.

People and Planet

A student organisation based in Oxford. As part of the Jubilee 2000 coalition it shares its "drop the third-world debt" aims with individuals as varied as The Pope and Bono, the lead singer of U2. Last Friday it handed in a petition of 25,000 chain-link shaped postcards to the Treasury.

London Greenpeace

The group has no association with Greenpeace but members claim they had the name first and refuse to give it up. On Friday they held a protest outside McDonald's. Dave Morris of McLibel fame is a member.

Reclaim the Streets

The group which organised the biggest protest of the day and the one, by its own account, in which the police have shown the most interest. Members claim their homes and meeting places have been under police surveillance for several weeks. One member said the group's beliefs were summed up in its flag: green for ecology, black for anarchism, and red for communism.

Association of Autonomous Astronauts

The group presents itself in a less than serious way, but believes the militarisation of space is wrong. The world-wide membership plans to build spaceships and begin to explore the cosmos.