Protesters plan action over City checkpoints

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The Independent Online
PROTESTERS were due to demonstrate this morning against police security checkpoints in the City of London as motoring organisations urged drivers to avoid the area or expect major delays.

The Campaign against Militarism said: 'The police have used the pretext of 'anti-terrorist measures' to increase their power over our lives.'

Police have set up eight checkpoints on main roads leading into the financial heart of the capital, scanning all vehicles and stopping any which look suspicious. The cordon made little difference during the weekend when traffic was light. But the RAC and the AA warned that today would be different.

The cordon, set up for a six- month trial period, was put in place after the IRA planted two major bombs in the City. Three people were killed and 91 injured by a van bomb outside the Baltic Exchange in April 1992. In April this year, a lorry bomb in Bishopsgate killed one man and injured 40 people.

Tony Banks, Labour MP for Newham North-west, joined the opposition to the checkpoints. 'What we've done is turn ourselves into a siege city,' he told ITV's Crosstalk programme. 'When we start limiting our own freedom, when we start turning ourselves into a sort of armed camp, then quite honestly the terrorists are winning.'

Theresa Gorman, Tory MP for Billericay, said: 'All they'll do is go off and bomb something else.'

Leading article, page 19

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