Police fear ‘death parties’ will disrupt Margaret Thatcher’s funeral procession
But officers rule out the use of rubber bullets and water cannon in the event of any trouble
Senior police and politicians are meeting tonight to finalise details for the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher after fears surfaced that the procession would be disrupted by parties celebrating her death.
The Metropolitan Police confirmed that they were meeting with representatives from Number 10 and the Home Office, as well as their counterparts at the City of London Police, to put the finishing touches to a plan that has been years in the making.
An event celebrating Mrs Thatcher's death is planned for Saturday evening at Trafalgar Square, the scene of arguably the worst rioting of her tenure as Prime Minister. And there have been reports that the funeral procession itself will be disrupted by those who opposed Mrs Thatcher.
The police have said they are determined to protect the rights of those wishing to pay their respects, as well as those of the people wishing to hold parties but officers ruled out the use of rubber bullets and water cannon in the event of any trouble.
Ian Bone, founder of Class War, the now defunct group which first called for a party to mark Mrs Thatcher's death in 1994, said that the parties would go on regardless of police tactics.
He said: “If they try to stop it, it will just take place as near as possible to Trafalgar Square. If they block one road, we will go up another. If they decide to close Trafalgar Square down, we will head up the Strand. They can block off whatever they like and it will happen in the streets round about,”
He added that he believed the disruption to the former Prime Minister's funeral would be minimal but was being blown out of proportion to provide an excuse to shut down Saturday night's events.
He said: “I know of no one who is planning to hold any type of protest on Wednesday. I think they are trying to big that up in order to crack down on Saturday.
”No one knows how many are coming to Trafalgar Square, I think it has taken the authorities by surprise. I don't think they knew about it, I think the police thought it would be just 30 or 40 of the usual anarchist suspects. It is only later that they realised it would be much bigger.“
Letters and emails have been sent to those the police believe to be organisers of the two events calling on them to enter into a dialogue with officers, in order to facilitate their demonstrations. But Mr Bone, who received a note despite his claim not to be directly involved in organising Saturday's event, said: ”The problem they have is that it is a party, not a demonstration or a march.
“So, it will just go on in the pubs if it cannot go on in the streets; that is what happened after the poll tax riot. It will be big and boisterous.”
Asked about the possible deployment of rubber bullets and water cannon, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: “We have no plans to utilise such equipment.” The fears of disruption follow similar parties hours after Mrs Thatcher died on Monday. Detractors gathered in Glasgow and Brixton in south London to mark her passing.
- 1 Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
- 2 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 4 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 5 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Man who was struck and killed by lightning in Brecon Beacons 'was carrying a selfie stick'
Greece debt crisis as it happened: EU chiefs at loggerheads hours before Alexis Tsipras’s last ditch deal proposals
Bakery sends 'horrific' version of Frozen-themed birthday cake to unsuspecting customer
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
Greece debt crisis: Angela Merkel and Francois Hollande issue Athens with 24-hour ultimatum to avoid crashing out of the euro
Greece crisis: Referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its lack of genuine legitimacy
£23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Analyst is required ...
£16000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To succeed, you will need to ha...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an award winni...
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...