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The BBC's Fergal Parkinson
"Anti-capitalists are calling it 'May Day Monopoly'."
 real 56k

Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 22:55 GMT 23:55 UK
May Day violence warning
Churchill's statue was vandalised by protesters last year
Damage totalling 50,000 was caused last May Day
People have been warned to stay away from May Day demonstrations in London amid fears that up to a 1000 anarchists are planning serious violence.

Metropolitan Police chief Sir John Stevens has joined the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, to appeal to people not to join the protest.

A total of 5,000 extra police officers from the Met, City of London and British Transport Police forces will be on duty while all leave has been cancelled.

Commissioner Stevens said the officers would help prevent "a hard core of about 1,000 individuals" causing "crime and disorder under the guise of lawful protest."


Strong evidence indicates there is a hardcore of people intent on acts of vandalism and violence

Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London
Latest intelligence suggests that a crowd of between 6,000-10,000 will converge on London for the protests.

Letters were delivered to five people on Monday, who are believed to be organisers of the 1 May protests, with more letters to be sent out later this week.

Mayor Livingstone warned people not to be duped by claims that the demonstrations were to draw attention to issues such as Third World debt.

Both men were speaking at a press conference at police headquarters in London on Tuesday.

"The entire political approach of the organisers of May Day Monopoly has nothing to do with the massive and successful demonstrations against apartheid or nuclear weapons which London has witnessed in the past," the mayor said.

Flashpoint

Oxford Street is expected to be the focus of violence, he warned.

May Day riot
Violence erupted last May Day

Mayor Livingstone said that the public and shop workers going about their normal business could be caught up in events beyond their control.

"My message to the public is clear - don't attend the May Day Monopoly actions.

"The primary intention of the Monopoly organisers is to cause serious disruption to London.

Violent hardcore

"Strong evidence indicates there is a hardcore of people intent on acts of vandalism and violence.

"People living and working in London should be able to travel across the city without fear of disruption or getting caught up in acts of vandalism."

He said no attempt had been made to organise the protests to minimise conflict with the police.

In May Day protests last year demonstrators caused 50,000 worth of damage as they dug up a square in front of parliament, smashed windows and daubing statues with graffiti.

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04 Jul 00 | Scotland
Mayday demo nurse banished
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