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Tuesday, 11 April, 2000, 17:24 GMT 18:24 UK
Wealthy man 'planned City demo'

The City of London protest ended in rioting
A former public schoolboy from one of the richest families in the UK helped mastermind a protest march which ended in riots in the City of London, a court has been told.

Mark Brown was said in court to have planned the protest in advance, and blocked a road on the day while wearing a false moustache and sideburns.

He denies a charge of failing to give police notice of a public procession, an offence under the Public Order Act which carries a maximum 1,000 fine.

Mr Brown earns an estimated 44,000 a year from a 2.7m trust fund set up after his grandfather, Sir Derek Vestey, made his fortune from the Dewhurst chain of butchers shops.



It's clear that from September 1998 he was organising, contacting and speaking electronically to a number of other people and a number of people were speaking back to him by e-mail

Richard Milne, prosecuting
City of London magistrates heard that Mr Brown had been helping organise the Carnival Against Capitalism for 18 months before it took place on June 18, 1999.

Prosecutor Richard Milne said: "It's clear that from September 1998 he was organising, contacting and speaking electronically to a number of other people and a number of people were speaking back to him by e-mail."

His involvement was said to have been revealed in a vast number of e-mails found on his home computer by police who searched his 200,000 flat in Notting Hill, London.

Sideburns

One of the e-mails was said to read: "I would ask in future not to use my name or any other person's name in full with the word `organiser'.

"There could be possible complications for me as regards the authorities."

Mr Milne said: "It's clear he knew of the repercussions of being an organiser, asking to ensure that he did not want to be in any way saddled with being referred to as an `organiser'."



I would ask in future not to use my name or any other person's name in full with the word `organiser'. There could be possible complications for me as regards the authorities

E-mail read to the court
He said possible names were also discussed, like Stop the City, Bash the Cash, and Loot the City.

Other e-mails showed he was attempting to orchestrate anti-capitalist demonstrations to take place in financial centres and cities across the world, said Mr Milne.

Officers also found Brown's diary entries for June 19 and 20 last year which read: "In hiding, I should think."

Mr Milne asked: "What had occurred on June 18 that would put him in hiding on June 19 and 20?"

During the demonstration a police officer saw Brown, wearing a false moustache and sideburns, park a car to block a road in the city before disappearing into the crowd, the court heard.

The defendant was setting up a sound system in a car he had just purchased, when he was approached by the police, said Mr Milne.

'Disappeared'

"He moved the car and parked it at an angle, blocking the road," he said.

"When the police went to try to ascertain what was going on he simply disappeared into the crowd."

At no time have the prosecution alleged that Brown was involved in the violence which took place during the demonstration.

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