G20 protesters 'will try to bring London to standstill'

Police fear anti-capitalist groups will seek violent confrontation on streets

Next month's G20 summit will present an "unprecedented" challenge as up to 2,000 protesters attempt to bring London to a standstill, the Metropolitan Police admitted yesterday.

The 20 world leaders, including Barack Obama, are to visit the capital for the summit on 2 and 3 April. They plan to discuss ways to tackle the global financial crisis.

But their presence is expected to encourage a large number of protests, with scores of activists from an array of different causes determined to generate publicity from demonstrations around the event.

The majority of protest groups have promised to demonstrate peacefully, but there are fears anarchist and hardcore anti-capitalists from Britain and abroad will try to fight police in pitched battles reminiscent of the anarchist riots of the late 1990s which caused millions of pounds of damage.

Senior officers at Scotland Yard say they are aware of several groups which plan to converge on the City of London financial district to cause blockades, and attempt to get inside major banks including the Bank of England.

One organiser is believed to be a senior lecturer at the University of East London. Some groups are said to be considering filling roads with sand and then sending children to play in it, making it impossible for police officers to forcibly remove them.

An anti-capitalist umbrella group calling itself "G20 – Meltdown in the City" has promised to "storm" banks and target many of the luxury hotels where world leaders will stay.

Climate change campaigners will also concentrate their protests within the Square Mile where they intend to hold one of their ubiquitous Climate Change Camps. Previous camps have been held at Heathrow and outside Kingsnorth power station in Kent, but this time thousands of activists will descend on the City in the week up to the three-day summit.

The Independent has learnt small "commando" groups of environmental activists are planning high profile publicity protests, similar to the Parliament rooftop protests last year.

One climate change activist, who has been arrested on numerous protests, said yesterday: "With so much media attention and so many world leaders coming to town next week I can guarantee there will be all sorts of groups looking to perform an array of exciting direct action stunts.

"I just hope the action won't take the form of throwing things at the police as that gets us nowhere."

Tibetan activists from around the world will also use the G20 to protest against the continuing crackdown in Tibet, where scores of people have been killed and arrested by Chinese forces since widespread rioting and protests broke out last year. The G20 meeting takes place at the ExCel centre in Docklands, and the Metropolitan Police plan to use a marine unit to prevent attempts by protesters to infiltrate the site by boat.

More than 10,000 officers' shifts will be used in the operation, which will cost the Met at least £7.2m, although £4.7m of this money would have been spent regardless of where the officers were patrolling.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Scotland Yard Commissioner, said: "G20 is a huge challenge for the Met. Quite clearly the notice for this event is less than one would normally have, but I think we are in extraordinary times and that has led to an extraordinary event."

Commander Bob Broadhurst is in charge of the security operation – one of the biggest the Met has ever mounted. All police leave has been cancelled for the duration of the summit and officers from six forces are working to second guess "innovative" protesters determined to evade traditional security arrangements.

"We have to be flexible and mobile," he said. "These are innovative people and we must be innovative as well.

"They are very clever people and they understand our tactics and will try to outsmart us. I have encouraged officers to try to think about what these people might try and do and hopefully we will have something to mitigate that. It will be an exciting couple of days to say the least."

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
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
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Sport
Moeen Ali wearing the 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands on his left arm
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off 2014 contestants
tv
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Battle of the Five Armies trailer released
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Extras
indybest
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
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

HR Business Partner (Maternity Cover 12 Months)

£30000 - £34000 Per Annum 25 days holiday, Private healthcare: Clearwater Peop...

Business Analyst - London - Banking - £400-£450

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Banking - London...

Application Engineer - Flow Metering

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Application ...

Chemical Engineer/Project Coordinator

£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Chemical Eng...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
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