LondonNet News Headlines
20/04/01
Protest Forces Statues Behind Bars
- Demo fears for Churchill and Lincoln as police load the guns

ABRAHAM LINCOLN and Winston Churchill were put in cages last night to save them from the fury of the mob.

Statues of the two historical figures are believed to be targets for anti-capitalist demonstrators headed for a big demonstration in central London tomorrow and the authorities are talking no chances in trying to protect the landmarks. Both statues, plus that of George Canning, have been surrounded by scaffolding and wooden boards to repel the forces of disorder.

In last year's May Day protest Churchill was given a Mohican hairdo by one waggish demonstrator and had the rest of his body daubed with paint.

Thousands of campaigners from a variety of loosely organised environmental, anarchist, single issue and fringe leftist groups will arrive in London tomorrow morning to begin a day long event that is set to reach its climax at 4.00pm when organisers want demonstrators to converge on Oxford Street, seen as a symbol of rampant consumerism and globalisation.

Despite the fact only a few dozen people were involved in violent scenes during last year's demo, politicians and police are set to come down hard on any evidence of troublemaking. "At the slightest sign of violence, people will be arrested," London Mayor Ken Livingstone said. Last year Livingstone, in his previous guise as a campaigning MP, backed the May Day demonstrations.

Meanwhile, police spokespeople conformed that they were ready to order the use of plastic bullets to ward off trouble; a threat, that if carried out, would represent the first time such measures have been used in mainland Britain. In recent times, a number of demonstrators in Northern Ireland have died from injuries resulting in plastic bullet wounds.




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