N30: riot police clash with demonstrators (UK)
30th November 1999
>> see also:
Seattle under siege
Seattle's a gas
the smoke clears in Seattle
38 people were arrested today, mainly for public order-related charges, during the N30 protest near Euston station. Over 1,000 people attended the rally, with early reports indicating that six protesters and one policemen have been treated for minor injuries.
The protest was against global capitalism organised to coincide with a demonstration outside a meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Seattle
The day's protest had been peaceful with demonstrations held at Trafalgar Square and Downing Street with a brief sit-down protest in Oxford Street. The demo then moved on to Euston station to protest over rail safety and the profits of Railtrack - which has its headquarters at Euston. Needless to say, both the media and riot police were out in full force.
The police claim that rioting broke out when a group of around 100-150 people separated from the main rally and ran towards them, throwing missiles. An aggressive police presence pushed the rioters back, with many reports of heavy handed tactics causing injury to bystanders.
urban75 has already received several reports of injuries sustained by protesters during unprovoked baton charges by the police down Euston Rd. Expect a full report soon. Scotland Yard condemned the violence, but stressed that only a minority of protesters caused the riot.
In Manchester, a similar sized group blocked traffic for half an hour in the financial district of the city.
"We should open the process up to all those people who are there demonstrating"
Meanwhile, the main demonstration in Seattle attracted tens of thousands of protesters (over 50,000 according to BBC news), with Police firing tear gas on the streets.
The opening ceremony was cancelled after demonstrators prevented speakers from assembling. Some 90 minutes after the ministerial meeting in Seattle had been due to begin, only one key speaker, World Trade Organisation Director General Mike Moore, had managed to reach the venue.
Armoured cars and mounted police were heavily in attendance around the conference centre, but only a few violent incidents were reported. The Mayor has declared a state of emergency in Seattle. Full report here.
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