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The BBC's Sean Brickell
"The cost of the damage is expected to be immense"
 real 28k

Deputy Asst Comissioner Michael Todd
"The organisers have been totally irresponsible"
 real 28k

The BBC's Roger Harrabin
"It had an air of a travellers fair until a band of thugs kicked a McDonalds window"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 2 May, 2000, 06:25 GMT 07:25 UK
Clean-up after May Day violence

Police in riot gear came head to head with protesters
Businesses in central London are among those counting the cost after Monday's anti-capitalist demonstrations descended into violence and vandalism.

Scotland Yard said 95 people were arrested during a day which saw shops looted, car windows smashed and bricks and bottles hurled at police.

Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned the violence as "mindless thuggery".

The Cenotaph had anti-war slogans daubed on it and the statue of Winston Churchill outside the House of Commons was defaced.

Police are to study video footage, which they shot during the protests, to glean evidence for prosecutions.

Shop windows were smashed by rampaging protestors
It is thought the bill for repairing the damage and paying for the emergency services could come to 500,000.

One police officer received hospital treatment after being hit in the face with a brick, while another suffered a dislocated shoulder, said a Scotland Yard spokesman.

London Ambulance said nine civilians, seven men and two women, were treated at University College Hospital for minor injuries.

Several people had also been treated for minor injuries at the protest scene.

A number of arrests were made for a series of offences including criminal damage, drunkenness and individual possession of CS gas, a knife and a long-bladed scissors.

Peaceful start

The day had started peacefully as 2,000 activists staged a largely good-natured protest in Parliament Square.

Armed with makeshift chisels and hand trowels they levered up paving slabs and planted flowers in their place to symbolise reclaiming urban spaces.

The day started peacefully, with a festival atmosphere
But the carnival spirit was soon overshadowed by anger and violence.

At about 14.10 BST a group of 20 protesters stormed into the Whitehall branch of McDonald's and destroyed the restaurant.

Within minutes they had smashed every window and torn down the M sign outside the restaurant.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Mike Todd said the troublemakers "were a minority but they were thugs, not demonstrators".


Heavily-armoured riot police and mounted officers charged at the demonstrators as they began smashing windows of the shop next door to McDonald's.

Hundreds of officers who had been waiting in side streets formed cordons to move the crowd and the first arrests were made.

Some protesters attempted to calm the angry atmosphere.

Churchill's statue outside parliament
The plinth of Churchill's statue was also graffitied
As police tried to clear rioters later in the day, the Rymans stationery shop and Carphone Warehouse on the Strand were severely damaged.

The plinth of Nelson's Column was covered with anarchy symbols in red spray paint and daubed with the slogan "Reclaim The Streets 2000".

Five cars and a BT van were smashed in a side street and most cars on Waterloo Bridge did not escape damage as the crowds were moved on.

'Absolute disgrace'

Prime Minister Tony Blair condemned demonstrators responsible for the violence and vandalism.

"The people responsible for the damage caused in London are an absolute disgrace," he said.

Further anti-capitalist demonstrations occurred in Manchester during the day.

Police said shops were attacked during a protest by about 250 people, resulting in 20 arrests.

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01 May 00 | UK
May Day mayhem
01 May 00 | Europe
May Day riots erupt in Germany
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