Now you see them, now you don't. That's how they like it

Inside the HQ
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The Independent Online

The graffiti on the second floor of Speedy's Tapas Bar in east London was one of several calling cards from its most recent visitors as they left in a hurry at 7.30am yesterday carrying banners and musical instruments. It read: "Work, play, consume, die – but kick in some copper scum first.''

Elsewhere in the shuttered building in Shoreditch, which had been occupied by campaigners for a week, appeals for peaceful protest jostled for space with a mural showing overall-clad campaigners vomiting on police officers.

Amid pieces of foam body armour, rotting food and empty beer cans lay notes for a classical music workshop and briefings on the Human Rights Act. There was also a map of Mayfair with three neat circles around locations in Regent Street, Hyde Park and Wigmore Street, near Oxford Street, but it was unclear whether they were designated targets or gathering points for the "Mayfayre [sic] mayhem".

As one squatter put it: "We are the broad church of those who not only want to make a difference but don't mind getting hurt to do it.''

As well as redecorating the interior of Speedy's with anti-capitalism posters and flip-charts describing first-aid procedures and legal rights, the occupants had put up an anarchist flag and banner outside.

Scotland Yard was among those who noticed. By 6.30am yesterday, two vanloads of officers arrived carrying clipboards with details of up to 15 "wanted'' protesters from previous May Day clashes.

One of the Yard's chief suspects, known as Target H, was thought to be inside. H, depending on whom you believe, is either a woman in her late 20s with a Continental accent or a hardcore male veteran of the May Day 2001 protests. To the May Day élite, H is known as Sky. But the Yard's plan was foiled. Sky had left the night before with about 20 others.

"Jono", one of a group of nine protesters who left the building yesterday morning, was not in a mood to discuss tactics. "Listen, we've been staying here for a few days to put together a few surprises," he said. "If I told you what they were, it would be like you opening your Christmas present early.'' Before heading down into the Tube, Jono added: "We disappear just as quickly as we appear. That's the whole point, you see?"