Police ready for mayhem on May Day, 2000
by Will Woodward The Guardian, Monday March 6, 2000
Police are getting ready for the possibility of rioting in London during a May Day protest against global capitalism that, according to activists, will be "quite different from anything that's gone before".
A four-day gathering in London, part of a series of "Mayday2k" events, will include "mayhem and a mass action in London on Monday May 1 to celebrate our diverse struggles against capitalism, exploitation and the destruction of the planet", says a website.
Rioting during last year's June 18 event brought chaos to the City of London, and there were clashes between police and protesters at London's Euston station on November 30 during a day of action against the World Trade Organisation meeting in Seattle.
Reclaim The Streets, the group behind those two protests in London, says on its website: "Yes, RTS people have agreed we'll [do] something, but we haven't had the idea yet. Whatever the press say, we intend it to be quite different from anything that's gone before." Discussions, parties and publicity-seeking events will be held across the bank holiday weekend, from Friday April 28.
Plans, necessarily still vague and sketchy, are being drawn up and posted through e-mail and on the internet. Up to 10,000 protesters, individuals and members of a loose mixture of environmentalist and anti-capitalist groups, could come to London for May 1, the traditional workers' holiday.
Police are making plans involving thousands of officers. A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "We are aware that a number of events are being planned. We are working with City of London police, transport police and other agencies as appropriate to ensure the necessary policing arrangements are in place."
Action is expected in cities across the world including Sydney, Toronto, Chi cago, New York, Washington DC, and smaller US cities. "Let's use the energy and contacts from June 18 and November 30 to make this the strongest show of solidarity and resistance yet!" says one website.
"This day will thus continue the process of building up a strong, bold, and creative grassroots movement for a society in which people do not exploit or oppress each other, communities or the environment, but one that is based on solidarity, co-operation, grassroots democracy, and ecological sustainability."
A further protest is being planned for September 27-28, linked to a meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Prague.
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