G20 rioters to hang banker effigies from lampposts as city staff are told to wear disguises
City workers are being urged to stay at home or to dress down during next week’s G20 summit to avoid being targeted by anti-capitalist protesters.
Unprecedented measures are being put in place to prepare for thousands of demonstrators targeting the City and Canary Wharf.
About 3,000 anti-capitalist protesters are expected, with groups next Wednesday marching to the Bank of England, holding ‘flashcamps’ outside the European Climate Exchange in Bishopsgate, and marching on the US Embassy.
Demonstrators have vowed to hang effigies of bankers from lampposts along the protest route.
Security specialists at Kroll, the risk consultancy, said high profile bankers were ‘easy targets’. Companies linked to the financial crisis are taking extra security measures for prominent staff.
An extra 2,500 police, including riot units and intelligence officers, are being deployed at a cost of £10million to tackle any violence, while security consultants are giving firms constant updates on threat levels.
The demonstrations, as 20 world leaders meet at the ExCeL Centre in Docklands to discuss how to end the world recession, are expected to be the biggest in London this decade.
Chris Knight, professor of anthropology at the University of East London, is organising protests under the banner G20 Meltdown.
He said: ‘We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred from lampposts and I can only say let’s hope they are just effigies. If he winds us up any more I’m afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts.’
Meanwhile, the group claiming responsibility for vandalising the former Royal Bank of Scotland chairman’s home has threatened further action against ‘criminal’ bank bosses.
A statement claiming to be from the group responsible for damage at his £3million mansion warned of further attacks, saying: ‘This is just the beginning.’
The threat sparked fears of a terror campaign against those blamed for the collapse in the financial system.
By Heather Stewart and Larry Elliott
G20 warned unrest will sweep globe
A wave of social and political unrest could sweep through the world’s poorest countries if G20 leaders fail to come to their aid, the World Bank warns today, as new research says the credit crunch will cost developing countries $750bn (£520bn) in lost output and drive millions more into poverty.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, managing director of the World Bank,
“We have to look at the impact of this on low income countries. Otherwise, without wanting to sound alarmist, social unrest and political crisis could be the result. It’s in the self-interest of everyone to prevent that,” she told the Observer
Her stark warning came as a new report from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) said the collapse of the global economy would cost 90 million lives, lead to an increase to nearly a billion in the number of people going hungry and cost developing countries $750bn in lost growth.
The ODI also said the G20 should not set unrealistic expectations about resuscitating the stalled Doha round of international trade talks, and should instead make a firm promise to avoid tit-for-tat protectionism.
Okonjo-Iweala said hundreds of thousands of workers were losing their jobs across the developing world, where social safety nets are almost non-existent, and called for more resources for the World Bank’s “vulnerability fund,” which helps cash-strapped governments to make direct welfare payments. “There is a credit crunch in many of these countries: foreign direct investment has dried up,” she said.
Downing Street wants to secure a doubling in the resources of the International Monetary Fund, so it can bail out the worst-affected countries; and a promise of new loans to help facilitate cross-border trade.
Brown is concerned many countries are failing even to live up to the promises on aid they made at the Gleneagles G8 meeting in 2005.
http://www.eurogendfor.org: “EGF responds to the need to rapidly conduct all the spectrum of civil security actions, either on its own or in parallel with the military intervention, by providing a multinational and effective tool. The EGF will facilitate the handling of crisis that require management by police forces, usually in a critical situation[…] EGF goal is to provide the International Community with a valid and operational instrument for crisis management, first and foremost at disposal of EU, but also of other International Organizations, as NATO, UN and OSCE, and ad hoc coalitions.”