A loose coalition of activists campaigning on issues from government cuts to benefits to protecting the environment is to converge on London’s business district today as the week’s anti-G8 demonstrations move from the capital’s West End.
Operating under the banner "They Owe Us", members of the group have planned a rally and promised what they called “creative civil disobedience".
They are targeting one of the capital’s "economic power centres" Canary Wharf.
Police said they are aware of the plans and are in contact with organisers in order to “facilitate” the protest, which is due to start this afternoon.
Emily Wilding of They Owe Us said: “The businesses and banks of Canary Wharf are deciding on, funding and profiting from projects that created the economic crisis and the climate crisis. Cuts, debt and climate change are devastating communities causing poverty and inequality, down the road in Tower Hamlets, across Britain and internationally. We have come to this pinnacle of capitalism to resist and challenge this because this is where the decisions are made that ruin are lives.”
Ashley Jordan, an office worker from Leeds who plans to attend the protest, said: "We've been sold a lie that we are in debt and so we have to tighten our belts. But actually we could just cancel debts, like Iceland did. Or we could decide that the corporations and energy companies and banks and owe us because of all the wealth that they have been stealing from us. We are witnessing a flow of money and power from poor to rich and that needs to be turned around so it goes the other way."
Members of the Occupy London group, which was encamped outside St Paul’s Cathedral for nearly eight months, will hold a meeting during the protest. The organisers said that their rally will also see by “speakers, music, poetry and workshops”.
The demonstration follows a similar rally on Tuesday, which was met with an overwhelming show of force by the Metropolitan Police, which put around 1,200 officers on London’s streets and conducted a pre-emptive raid on a Soho squat the protesters were using as a headquarters.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that its officers had put in place an “appropriate and proportionate” policing plan.