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Mayday 2002, Mayday Festival of Alternatives
Mayday 2002, Mayday Festival of Alternatives

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Mayfair might become May Day battleground
Report from Press Association 26th April 2002

Mayfair has been identified as a potential May Day battleground with anti-capitalist protesters threatening to use violent guerrilla tactics.

Detectives have been scouring the internet ahead of next Wednesday's protests and have found sites urging people to head for the central London area.

Mayfair has historical ties to May Day as it once hosted the annual May Fayre - and organisers are planning a "May Day In May Fayre".

Police are concerned that some organisers have failed to come forward to help them plan for the event.


Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Mike Todd said: "At the moment, we still do have a problem because some of the organisers have not come forward to help us."

There's been far less organisation in comparison with last year, where you did have an organising committee.

"But you do have groups saying come to Mayfair and get involved in guerrilla tactics which we hope will be thwarted by the police. If they are saying go to Mayfair and get involved it sounds sinister, and put together with our intelligence it sounds even more sinister."

Detectives believe a "hard core" of 300-400 protesters intent on violence will be active in the capital on the day. All police leave has been cancelled and between 5,000 and 6,000 officers will be on duty to deal with protests. Police are expecting fewer than the 10,000 protesters who turned up last year.

Mr Todd said: "We do still have very real fears about hard core protesters. There is a hard core of people who think the way to get their point across is to cause violence and damage and that has been confirmed over the years."

He said this year it was more "word of mouth" and there was nothing to compare to last year's May Day Monopoly website. The lack of advertising ahead of time meant the police were in "an incredibly difficult Catch 22 situation" in terms of how many officers to have on duty.

Story filed: 11:34 Friday 26th April 2002

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