Page last updated at 22:27 GMT, Thursday, 26 March 2009

G20 protest professor suspended

Police carrying out security checks
Police have been carrying out security checks ahead of the G20 meeting

A university professor who warned that bankers could be "hanging from lampposts" during G20 protests next week has been suspended from his job.

Chris Knight, of the University of East London, told BBC Radio 4 things "could get nasty" after ex-bank boss Sir Fred Goodwin's Edinburgh home was attacked.

The university confirmed in a statement the professor of anthropology had been suspended from duties on Thursday.

An investigation was being launched into his comments, it said.

The statement read: "Professor Chris Knight has been suspended from his duties at the University of East London, pending investigation.

"In order not to prejudice this process we cannot make any further comment."

They [bankers] should realise the amount of fury and hatred there is for them and act quickly, because quite honestly if it isn't humour it is going to be anger
Professor Chris Knight

The professor was interviewed for BBC Radio 4's PM programme after the home and car of former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred were attacked by vandals early on Wednesday morning.

Mr Knight, who was organising protests next week, said: "We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred [Sir Fred Goodwin] from lampposts on April Fool's Day and I can only say let's hope they are just effigies.

"To be honest, if he winds us up any more I'm afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts and let's hope that that doesn't actually have to happen.

"They [bankers] should realise the amount of fury and hatred there is for them and act quickly, because quite honestly if it isn't humour it is going to be anger.

"I am trying to keep it humorous and let the anger come up in a creative and hopefully productive and peaceful way.

"If the other people don't join in the fun - I'm talking about the bankers and those rather pompous ministers - and come over and surrender their power obviously it's going to get us even more wound up and things could get nasty. Let's hope it doesn't."


There has been widespread public and political anger over a pension payout worth about £700,000 a year to the 50-year-old former chief executive Sir Fred.

He took early retirement from RBS last year after the bank needed a £20bn bailout from the government.

A number of organisations and coalitions are organising protests over a variety of issues, including the financial crisis, before and during the G20 summit in London on 2 April.

Police have warned known activists are planning in an "unprecedented" way and that groups active in the late 1990s are re-emerging and forming new alliances.

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