Police braced for more G8 protests

Hampshire Chronicle: Protesters clash with police in Golden Square, London Protesters clash with police in Golden Square, London

A second wave of anti-G8 protests is expected to take place, following demonstrations which saw hundreds of riot officers out in force across London's West End.

Scotland Yard continued to urge activist groups to contact them, but said so far none of the protesters have done so.

The force said a protest is expected to rally at 2pm on Wednesday in Carlton Gardens near Pall Mall, and that officers will be deployed there and in key areas around Oxford Street and in Soho.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Officers will be deployed at key locations and also act as a flexible reserve across London that can be quickly moved to respond to any incidents.

"We continue to ask protesters to contact us and work with us. What we will continue to do is uphold people's right to protest peacefully, whilst balancing the rights of others to go about their daily business, plus uphold our duty to prevent crime and disorder. There is information to suggest that there will be further protests in London today. As yet no one has chosen to work with us."

Ed Argar, from Westminster City Council, said protesters did not have a licence to cause disruption, saying the events "demonstrate that, as ever, there were a small number of people intent on turning a legitimate protest into confrontation". He added: "I hope any further protests around G8 pass off peacefully. We fully support the right to legitimate protest, but that is not a licence to disrupt the daily lives of residents, visitors and businesses or the right to break the law."

Demonstrators occupied a former police building in Beak Street, Soho, on Tuesday before officers dramatically forced their way in.

Television footage showed climbing teams securing the roof, and bundling one protester on to his front after he ran on to the flat rooftop. The building is clear now, but officers remain on guard at the site.

In total 57 people were arrested for various offences including violent disorder, possession of pointed or bladed articles and a variety of public order offences, and around 1,200 officers were deployed.

Protest group StopG8 has branded the demonstrations ahead of next week's summit a "Carnival against Capitalism". It encouraged supporters to meet outside the offices of defence company BAE Systems in Carlton Gardens for an "anti-arms and anti-police-repression demo".

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