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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 22:05 GMT
Apathy kills off May Day protest
Protests in central London
Last year's protests in London were mainly peaceful
One of the main groups behind London's May Day anti-capitalist protests has pulled out of this year's event.

According to The Mayday Collective's website it has decided to withdraw because of growing apathy among its members.

However, the TUC-organised march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square is still expected to go ahead.

A spokeswoman for the Met said they will continue to monitor any plans that may be in place for this year's event.

On the collective's website it says: "Following a meeting held in mid-January the London Mayday Collective decided not to proceed with plans for an anti-capitalist event this year.

"This will be the first time in five years that there has not been an event of its kind in London."

May Day 2002 in London
Some May Day events in London have seen clashes with police
Thousands of protesters gathered in central London to take part in May Day demonstrations last year.

A minor clash between protesters and police took place early in the day, but police described the rallies as "relatively peaceful".

But previous May Days have been marred by trouble, notably in 2000 when more than 90 people were arrested and several landmarks were vandalised.

Mick Connelly, London's TUC regional secretary, told BBC London he hoped the cancellation of some of the anti-capitalist protests would mean less bad publicity for what is a day of celebration for trades unions.

'Horror stories'

"Over the last few years, a number of different organisations have decided to try and hijack May 1, which has traditionally been the International Workers' Day," he said.

"We certainly hope that it will be the end of speculation that goes on for days, if not weeks, before May Day, when we have all sorts of horror stories being put across that...Londoners need to be afraid because there's going to be riots on the streets."

Other protest groups are still intending to use 1 May to make themselves heard.

Guy Taylor, of Globalise Resistance, told BBC London: "We are living in a very volatile political situation at the moment and I think the issues of the day will be expressed on the streets on May Day."


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