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Mayday 2001 press reports

May Day protesters complain about police treatment BBC London Live Wednesday 9 May
Protesters who claim they were unlawfully detained at Oxford Circus during the Mayday protest have handed an official complaint to police. The Justice for Mayday Group say they've collected statements from 50 people complaining about their treatment during last week's demonstration. This afternoon they handed the complaints to Scotland Yard.

A Channel4 poll (5th May 2001) revealed that most people believe that multinationals have more power than politicians and "care only about profits and not the interests of the people in the countries they operate", while the Telegraph reported, "the anarchists are wrong but asking the right questions". Our claim with the Press Complaints Commission about an article in the News of the World continues to be processed.

Accountant arrested over a scarf!
BBC, 2nd May 2001
A 27-year-old accountant was on mayday arrested for failing to remove the scarf from his face under police stop-and-search powers.
This is London

Central London clean-up
BBC, 2nd May 2001
"92 arrests in London, 50 people injured, 29 hospitalised, Three police officers hurt, Activists criticised the decision to corral up to 5,000 demonstrators in Oxford Circus for more than eight hours, although police said this was necessary to avoid violence and damage to property"
Full BBC report

Protesters hemmed in
BBC, 1st May 2001
BBC report

Load up, load up with rubber bullets!
BBC, 30th April 2001
Just when you thought the hype couldn't possibly get any more hysterical, news breaks out that the Met have now revealed contingency plans to use rubber bullets on Mayday. The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority, Lord Harris, added yet more fuel to the fire by announcing that "officers will only resort to the use of rubber bullets against protesters if the situation gets out of hand"
Full story:


The anarchists are coming! The modern face of civil protest
Independent, 27th April 2001
Refreshingly honest and amusing article about Mayday by Mark Steel. Full story:

Mass bomb scare ploy planned for May 1
The Times 24th April 2001
Here the police talk of "intensifying their electronic warfare against the ringleaders" and boast that it was, "through electronic mail that police first found details of the Mayday Monopoly, where demonstrators pick addresses from the board game to match targets for the protest."

Er, they didn't need to "crack encrypted e-mails" to find that out: there was a widely publicised and open website listing the information in considerable detail called - wait for it -!
Full article:

Smoke, Fire and Lies
Guardian 26.04.01
A classic police non-story ran by the Guardian reported that the GLA HQ had been hit by a small fire. A Scotland Yard spokesman said, "There was a small fire inside an office on the second floor which was extinguished by the fire brigade. I cannot speculate whether this incident is linked to groups known to be active around May Day". Which rather begs the question, if you can't speculate why mention it?? Turned out that the fire was caused by an electrical fault. So, no news there then

WANTED: May Day anarchist
Evening Standard 24th April 2001
The Standard continues to strike fear into all law abiding folk with this report featuring "one of the men they fear is plotting to bring anarchy to London on May Day". Apparently, this fella is "one of 24 hardcore activists still being hunted by police after being caught on camera last year as rioting broke out on May Day"
Full article:


Ken says, "Gerrorf my capital!"
Evening Standard 22nd April 2001
Apparently, Mayor Ken Livingstone would rather people kept their concerns about globalisation, third world debt and the Kyoto Treaty to themselves.
Full story:

Rioters, Looters, Wombles - and now Samurai Swordsmen!
22nd April 2001
A rather astonishing article in the Observer today claimed that armed police will be called in for the Mayday protest over fears that rioters armed with Samurai swords and machetes will infiltrate the protest. Quite how this bizarre and completely unprecedented scenario has popped up into the police's imagination is anyone's guess, but it sure smells of another tactic to scare away peaceful protesters on the day.

Protesters to hand themselves in to the police
15th April 2001
According to a report in the Guardian, ("May Day activists to surrender to police"), the intent is to clog up London's police stations before the protest, leaving police no option but to release them without charge.

The report also quoted a Mayday Monopoly organiser who said that many people in the alliance believed they would have to go public to rebuff police claims that this year's demonstrations are organised by a 'hard core' of 1,000 activists bent on an orgy of violence. 'It is very provocative for the police to warn anyone peaceful not to turn up,' he said.


The Evening Standard continues to spread alarm and disinformation about the proposed protest with this piece of nonsense. Needless to say the article is suitably illustrated with a rioter in action, although they it doesn't explain how GCHQ could locate and crack the encrypted mail sent from any one of hundreds of cybercafes in the country....

"Anarchists to loot Oxford Street"
Standard 19.04.2001
"Anarchist leaders plan the mass assault and looting of prominent central London stores as the centrepiece of the May Day protests.

The plan, codenamed 'the Sale of the Century' by anarchists, is to ransack stores close to Oxford Circus as a protest against capitalism.

The exact targets are being kept a closely guarded secret by protest leaders but will be "symbolic and high-profile", anarchist sources say.

The plan has been formulated by anarchist leaders using internet cafés and heavily encrypted email in a bid to avoid police surveillance and GCHQ eavesdroppers"... More drivel at This Is London


The Evening Standard seems hell bent on demonising anyone involved in peaceful protest. Despite the clear, unequivocal statements about the entirely non violent stance of the direct action training group, that didn't stop the Standard going into hyperbolic overdrive, screaming, "Mayday rioters train at US camp" from their front pages on 18.04.2001

Interestingly enough, the story was linked to a poll asking if people support the Mayday protests - illustrated, naturally enough, by a rioter putting his foot through a shop window, the inference being, 'do you support a riot?'

Sunday Times March 18 2001
(...protesters tactics uncovered by police include:)
"Turkish communists who will try to lure Metropolitan police officers into baton-charging women and children by falling back behind them after pelting officers with missiles. They are planning to arrive in London at Waterloo station.

Animal rights activists who will stage a separate march, targeting companies linked to animal experimentation. It is understood that they will include members of the Justice Department, a loose coalition of pro- violence animal rights groups that has claimed responsibility for sending booby-trapped letters containing razor blades soaked in rat poison.

The use of small hit squads of anarchists and "eco warriors", co-ordinated by spotters with mobile phones. They will be directed to locations away from the police. Their task, according to one internet-based instruction, will be to "cause as much damage as possible and then scatter".

Targets will include the City premises of a leading insurer and a merchant bank that paid its staff £1m-plus bonuses at the end of last month. Attacks are also being prepared on the Royal Bank of Scotland, because of its financial support for Huntingdon Life Sciences, the Cambridgeshire firm which uses animals in experiments".


Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph claimed that the "three interior walls of the building were daubed with anarchist graffiti including the slogan: 'Smash Police Skulls'".

The article quotes Det Supt Bob Randall, "There is no doubt that this new radical organisation of anarchists is importing a frightening brand of continental-style violence into British protests. We have seen violent tactics used around the world against government leaders and business organisations in Prague and Seattle".

In true 'whip up the masses style', the article incorrectly asserts that "Ya Basta has been behind scores of violent demonstrations across the Continent and has adopted what police describe as 'sinister paramilitary-style tactics'", concluding that Reclaim The Streets have been "overtaken by far more violent groups" - which will be news to those involved!

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