A range of protests against the G20 summit in the UK captured public anger over the economic crisis. The city financial district was brought to a standstill on the April 1 when thousands of protesters converged on the Bank of England to demonstrate against the recession, banks, war and climate change.
The protests started with four “horsemen of the apocalypse” setting off from separate central London tube stations, each followed by a train of protesters. The horses symbolised the four evils of war, financial chaos, climate change and homelessness.
There was much anger directed at the banks whose profiteering had helped bring on the recession. “The government is giving billions to banks to give golden handshakes to bankers—I’d put them all in handcuffs and take them away,” said Arthur Scargill, who led the Miners’ Strike of 1984-5.
The police turned up in absurdly large numbers in an attempt to overwhelm the demonstrators. Protesters were “kettled in” by lines of riot cops separating different groups of demonstrators. Their thuggish tactics have since come under criticism after footage from The Guardian revealed that a passer by, Ian Tomlinson, died not long after being hit with a baton and pushed by police at a Bank of England protest. A second post-mortem has revealed he died of an abdominal haemorrhage.
The tragic death of Ian Tomlinson brings home who the real perpetrators of violence are. As a young worker, Sara el Sheekh, told Socialist Worker (UK), “the war machine deployed at the protests show that they are scared. These actions show that they will use ‘anti terror’ policies and violence to prevent people taking to the streets, because people have power.”
By Amy Thomas

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