G20 protests

Demonstrations turn violent

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

An angry mob stormed a bank today as the G20 protests turned violent.

Masked anarchists smashed their way into the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in the City of London.



They trashed equipment, daubed graffiti on the walls and threw a chair through a window.



More than 4,000 demonstrators, most of them peaceful, gathered near the Bank of England to demand action from world leaders.



But several hundred clashed with police, who were pelted with eggs, paint bombs and empty beer cans.



Scotland Yard responded by cordoning off streets and sending in riot police and officers on horseback.



Police said a total of 24 arrests were made today.



Two people were held for aggravated burglary over the raid on the RBS building and two for public order offences.



Others were held for threatening behaviour, possession of drugs, violent disorder and blocking a road.



Eleven people were arrested this morning after police uniforms were found in the back of an armoured vehicle.





The day began with marches from Cannon Street, Liverpool Street, Moorgate and London Bridge, led by effigies of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.



As the lines of protesters walked peacefully towards the Bank of England, City workers were seen waving £10 notes at them from office windows above.



Political protesters carrying banners marked "Balls to the Banks" and "Punish the looters" were joined by workers who had lost their jobs in the recession.



Former financial worker Caroline Carter, 49, from Chertsey in Surrey, said: "Believe you me, this is going to get a lot worse by the end of this year.



"I suggest the bankers give up some of their pensions and give something back to the community."



Christine Hickey, 64, from Sutton, Surrey, said: "I'm just fed up with the bankers who've got away with taking all this money.



"People are losing jobs and their homes and I'm fed up with it.



"I'm not here with anyone today but wanted to come along to show my support. It all seems good-natured."



When the four processions converged on the roads around the Bank at around midday, the atmosphere turned menacing.



Police closed off nearby streets to stop anyone leaving the area as small groups of protesters began charging police lines.



To cheers from parts of the crowd, a handful of men with black scarves obscuring their faces and hoods over their heads smashed a hole in the windows with a metal pole and crawled in.



Police entered the branch at around 2pm and shortly afterwards began driving demonstrators away from the building.



An RBS spokeswoman said the branch was closed today and there was no-one inside.



"We made a decision yesterday to close various branches, so that branch is closed, there is no question about that," she said.



The outbreaks of violence marred otherwise peaceful G20 protests around London.



In nearby Bishopsgate, hundreds of environmental protesters blocked the road with a climate camp.



They pitched tents and set up market stalls, bunting and banners outside the European Climate Exchange.



One protester, Richard Howlett, said efforts to restart the world economy risked making climate change worse.



He said: "Anybody with any common sense can see that we're not going to get ourselves on the low-carbon economy we need if we're building new runways and new coal-fired power stations."



Campaign group Stop The War said there were 5,000 protesters in Trafalgar Square for an anti-war rally.



Convenor Lindsey German said: "The message is very simple - we want troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, an end to the siege of Gaza, stop the arming of Israel, and the creation of jobs, not bombs."









At the Bank of England a street party continued, with music blaring.

A short while earlier police moved to once again block all the roads around the Bank, allowing protesters out but not allowing anybody else in.



Groups of demonstrators, passers-by and spectators gathered at the police lines.











Stuart Fraser, of the City of London Corporation, said: "The police are managing a very difficult balancing act: they need to make sure the demonstrators can protest peacefully and safely, whilst protecting property and keeping the City open for business.

"Obviously the operation is ongoing and the situation may change, but so far the police seem to be handling a tricky job very well.



"The City of London Corporation, which acts as the local authority for the Square Mile, is working closely with the police to support their efforts to keep the City working.



"The City of London Police is working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and British Transport Police in a single operation. By pooling resources and intelligence, we are aiming for an effective pan-London policing operation."













Metropolitan Police Commander Simon O'Brien warned that some of those involved in violent disorder are being monitored by police and face arrest as they move around the city this evening.

Speaking at New Scotland Yard tonight, the senior officer said post incident investigations are already under way against those involved in the attack on a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), criminal damage and assaults on police.



He said small pockets of criminals were responsible for the outbreaks of trouble while the vast majority of participants were good humoured.



Mr O'Brien, who is a member of the command team for the G20 security operation, said some of the apparent ringleaders were followed by helicopter as they left flashpoints.



He said: "As we went on it was clear there were people within the group that were first of all involved in juvenile and puerile behaviour.



"That started to escalate into quite provocative behaviour towards police lines. There were small groups charging forwards and backwards into police lines.



"It did seem to us from CCTV and police on the scene that they tried to find a way to ramp up the protest and hijack it into violence."



Mr O'Brien added: "There are a number of times when police lines withdrew for two, three or five feet to give space between police and demonstrators to take the temperature out of the crowd dynamic.



"Consistently there were people in the crowd who were determined to hijack it.



"We believe these were the sort of people we have been monitoring on the internet and online prior to today.



"Some of these seemed to be quite experienced and determined protesters in that they wanted to get involved in a violent protest and not lawful protest."



Mr O'Brien said police have collected footage from "helitelly", the force's nickname from CCTV from powerful helicopter cameras.



He said: "We started to see a good deal more violence coming from small groups in the crowd. Clear attacks on police line, clear attacks on police by protesters and completely unprovoked.



"Then we saw a determined attack on the RBS where at least three plate-glass windows were broken.



"There was a clear attempt to throw lighted material in that premises and we saw small amounts of minor thefts from the premises.



"That went on for some time and we were in a position where we had officers at and around the scene of that attack.



"We had almost all of it on helitelly and CCTV and we were collecting clear and good evidence of that attack.



"Two people were arrested for aggravated burglary because they entered with a view to steal or cause other forms of damage."



Mr O'Brien said there had been 26 arrests overall linked to the protests, including four last night, and others involved in violence should expect a "knock on the door".



He said: "We are already in the process of collecting key evidence against individuals involved in violent acts and disorder and other activity in the crowd.



"We will pursue a post-incident investigation and any number of people will be visited by the Metropolitan Police and colleagues in the City in the near future.



"If they have been involved in such acts we will arrest them."



Senior officers said one police officer is in hospital tonight receiving treatment after receiving a blow to the head. Seven protesters have also been taken to hospital.



Mr O'Brien warned there may be more violence tomorrow as the focus of the protests moves to the Summit itself at the Excel Centre in London's docklands.

Sport
Laura Trott with her gold
Commonwealth GamesJust 48 hours earlier cyclist was under the care of a doctor
Life and Style
Upright, everything’s all right (to a point): remaining on one’s feet has its health benefits – though in moderation
HealthIf sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Griffin holds forth in The Simpsons Family Guy crossover episode
arts + ents
News
Orville and Keith Harris. He covered up his condition by getting people to read out scripts to him
People
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
France striker Loic Remy
sportThe QPR striker flew to Boston earlier in the week to complete deal
Arts and Entertainment
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
arts + entsFilmmaker posted a picture of Israeli actress Gal Gadot on Twitter
Sport
Vincenzo Nibali rides into Paris on the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France
Tour de FranceVincenzo Nibali is first Italian winner since Marco Pantani in 1998
News
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
people
Arts and Entertainment
Chris Pratt stars in Guardians of the Galaxy
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Pedro Pascal gives a weird look at the camera in the blooper reel
arts + entsPrince Oberyn nearly sets himself on fire with a flaming torch
News
Danny Nickerson, 6, has received 15,000 cards and presents from well-wishers around the world
newsDanny loves to see his name on paper, so his mother put out a request for cards - it went viral
Arts and Entertainment
Zoe Saldana stars in this summer's big hope Guardians of the Galaxy
filmHollywood's summer blockbusters are no longer money-spinners
Sport
Red Bull Racing's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (C) celebrates with Scuderia Ferrari's Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (L) and Mercedes' British driver Lewis Hamilton
sport
Arts and Entertainment
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Public vote: Art Everywhere poster in a bus shelter featuring John Hoyland
art
Arts and Entertainment
Judd Apatow’s make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach is ideal for comedies about stoners and slackers slouching towards adulthood
filmComedy was dominated by the romcom at its most insufferable
Sport
Tour de France competitor Bartosz Huzarski’s legs have highlighted the gruelling nature of the race, after he posted a picture on Facebook showing extremely prominent veins stretching from his feet and all the way up his legs
Commonwealth Games
Life and Style
Elle Kaye demonstrates the art of taxidermy
food + drinkFood revolution taken a step further in new ‘edible taxidermy’ class
News
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
video
Sport
Halsall broke her personal best in the 50m butterfly
Commonwealth GamesEnglish swimmer is reborn after disastrous time at London 2012
Arts and Entertainment
O'Shaughnessy pictured at the Unicorn Theatre in London
tvFiona O'Shaughnessy explains where she ends and her strange and wonderful character begins
Life and Style
Workers in Seattle are paid 100 times as much as workers in Bangladesh
fashionSeattle company lets customers create their own clothes, then click 'buy' and wait for delivery
Arts and Entertainment
Red Bastard: Where self-realisation is delivered through monstrous clowning and audience interaction
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
booksForget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Voices
The Express offices in the 1930s when writers (such as Orwell) were paid around £2 weekly
voicesWebsites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
A cut above: Katy Guest at The Ginger Pig
food + drinkThe Ginger Pig's hands-on approach to primary cuts
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Data Analyst

£30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable software house is looking ...

Application Support Analyst / Junior SQL Server DBA

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established professional services...

Commercial Litigation

Highly Attractive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - SENIOR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION SO...

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried