Anti-capitalists plan another protest in Prague

Up to 20,000 anti-globalisation protesters are expected to bring chaos to the streets of Prague during the IMF and World Bank summit in September
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Anti-capitalists have vowed to make the protests the biggest yet, pledging to "destroy the IMF" and turn the summit into "Seattle II".

Anti-capitalists have vowed to make the protests the biggest yet, pledging to "destroy the IMF" and turn the summit into "Seattle II".

Officers from Scotland Yard have already visited the Czech Republic to exchange intelligence on British protesters expected to travel to Prague. Anti-capitalist groups are organising coaches to ferry protesters to Prague from London, Manchester, and Liverpool. Websites offer information to protesters on the demonstrations, how to get to Prague, and first aid.

Czech police have also conferred with the FBI and Interpol. The organisers are expecting the most trouble from groups travelling from the US and Germany. Up to 5,000 protesters are expected from Germany, according to one website.

Most activity so far has been from the Czech-based Initiative against Economic Globalisation (Inpeg), which insists all its activities will be peaceful. But trouble is expected. Police officers are being drafted into Prague from across the country: 11,000 will be on duty. There will also be 5,000 soldiers on standby. Hospitals are even preparing for chemical and biological attacks.

The protests will be a major test for the police, who came under fire for heavy-handed tactics against much smaller-scale anti-capitalist protests in Prague last year.

Czech President Vaclav Havel has attempted to defuse the situation by inviting protesters and representatives of the IMF and World Bank to a debate in Prague Castle ahead of the summit. But nobody believes the battle will be resolved across the debating floor this summer: it will be fought out on the streets on the date the anti-capitalists like to call S26.

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