Cyprus Mail
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Riot police clash with anti-G8 protesters in London

By Michael Holden and Maria Golovnina
RIOT police clashed with anti-capitalist protesters in running confrontations through the streets of central London yesterday and arrested 32 people as activists targeted some of the world’s biggest companies before next week’s G8 summit.
About 100 protesters gathered outside oil company BP Plc’s headquarters, while others chanted “war criminals” at the office of US defence company Lockheed Martin Corp.
Police used chainsaws to break into a four-storey block in the Soho district where the StopG8 protest group had been staying before a Carnival Against Capitalism to coincide with the G8 meeting in Northern Ireland.
Aerial footage showed a man on the building’s flat roof confront three police officers and charge towards the edge before being wrestled to the ground.
Several more police, some wearing abseiling ropes, rushed over to restrain him, inches from the roof’s unprotected edge. More officers carried away the man, who appeared to have a bloody face.
The roof-top drama came as other protesters – who had threatened to target hedge funds, banks and multinationals – played cat and mouse with riot police through some of London’s most fashionable streets.
“The G8 is just a front for the corporatocracy, for the kleptocrats. It is about making them more money and dividing up the world so they can all get richer,” said a protester at Piccadilly Circus who gave his name only as Silver Fox.
“The G8 should be about ending all the wars – why don’t they give peace a chance for once?”
Police vans chased groups of shouting protesters down Oxford Street, one of London’s main shopping areas, to the visible shock of tourists and shoppers.
Police said they had arrested 32 people for offences including criminal damage, assault on police and possession of an offensive weapon.
Activists, some with their faces covered, waved black, green and red flags as they marched down Oxford Street. They carried banners saying “No borders, no prisons, no capitalism” and “One Common Struggle”.
Isolated scuffles broke out when police moved in to arrest individuals as a group of activists banged on drums and blew whistles beside snarled traffic.
“We are retaking the streets. We want to make a statement that capitalism is screwing the majority of people,” said protester Emma Goldman. “If we were in (Turkey’s) Taksim Square people would say we were anti-government protesters. Here they probably call us a mob.”
Last month, StopG8 issued a map of 100 potential targets for people to “show their anger”, identifying offices of financial organisations such as banks, hedge funds, defence manufacturer BAE Systems and mining and energy companies including ArcelorMittal and BP.

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