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(en) Britain, London, Media, Womble riot threat as Commons (parliament) opens

Date Sat, 07 Oct 2006 10:40:41 +0200


Riot police will be on a major security alert for the opening of
Parliament on Monday. Anarchists are threatening to storm the Palace
of Westminster in a potentially violent anti-war demonstration.
Protesters from across Britain are expected to travel to London for
the "Sack Parliament" event. The demonstrators are likely to include
the notorious anti-capitalist group the Wombles - White Overall
Movement Building Liberations through Effective Struggle.
The group was at the centre of the major anti-capitalist protests in
2000 and 2001 that brought violence and mayhem to the capital.
About 800 police will be on stand-by in and around Parliament
Square to stamp out any trouble on Monday.

Riot squads will be held in readiness nearby.

Police have been gathering intelligence on the demonstration plans
for weeks.

They believe several anarchist and anti-war groups such as the Stop
The War Coalition are planning to travel to the capital.

The demonstration is planned coincide with the opening of the
Parliament in the afternoon. An Internet website advertising the
protest says: "Despite repeated mass protests parliament has ignored
those it is supposed to represent and consistently sided with
continuing wars and further authoritarian legislation. We have only
one option left: Sack Parliament."

Commander Bob Broadhurst, who is organising the police response,
said he believed a small, hard-core group of activists were planning
trouble.

He said: "We have contacted these groups and told them they are
entitled to demonstrate if they seek permission to do so but they
have not done that.

"We do not believe that they will ask for permission so any protest
and anything they do will be unlawful. Our message to anyone
coming to London to disrupt Parliament is that we will stop them.

"We cannot take the risk of allowing people to disrupt the
democratic process and we will be robust in dealing with them."

Police are expecting protesters to try to disrupt MPs attending
Parliament and block roads around the Palace of Westminster.

The 2000 May Day protests culminated in an occupation of
Parliament Square, with the statue of Winston Churchill being
defaced and given a green mohawk. The following year hundreds of
protests were penned in for hours by police in Oxford Circus.

Last year the Wombles were among anarchists groups who ran riot
on the first day of the G8 summit at Gleneagles.
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