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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 May, 2005, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
May Day Tesco protest 'thwarted'
Police have prevented a potentially damaging May Day demonstration at a London store, Scotland Yard has said.

Officers monitoring May Day activities observed more than 80 people at around 1300 BST, some masked, who appeared to be converging on a Tesco in Hackney.

But the police response helped minimise potential damage, Scotland Yard said.

Ch Supt Helen Ball said: "We not allow widespread disruption to the communities in London." A TUC May Day march in central London was peaceful.

'Quick response'

Police monitoring May Day activities noticed a group of 30 people gathering at Highbury Corner at about 1300 BST. They began moving towards the Hackney Central mainline station.

At the same time, a second group consisting of about 50 people headed to the same point from Bethnal Green.

A third group had already gathered inside the supermarket in Morning Lane, Hackney.

Superintendent Ball said: "We were able to quickly respond and minimise the disruption and possible damage that this group might have caused.

"We have reason to believe that these groups of people, some of whom were masked, intended to converge on this Tesco store on mass.

"These individuals have not attempted to work with police in advance of today and we believe do not intend to co-operate with us now in order to allow us to facilitate some form of lawful protest."

May Day demo 'tame stuff'
01 May 03 |  UK

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