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Sussex commuters could be targeted by protesters
Workers commuting from Sussex to London’s City offices are being warned by bosses not to wear suits in case anti-capitalist protests turn violent.
This week’s G20 meeting of world leaders is expected to be the target of large demonstrations against climate change and global capitalism.
The protests are expected to be the largest of their kind in London for ten years and follow mass riots in cities which have played host to similar summits.
One City of London worker who commutes from Sussex, but did not wish to be named, said: “We have been told not to turn up in suits in case we get targeted.”
Another bank worker said many were planning to stay at home over the next week.
He said: “People are kind of worried about it to be honest.
“We have been told, if you can work from home, work from home, and if you have to come in then don’t wear a suit and stay well clear of the protesters.”
Professor Chris Knight, a 1960s University of Sussex graduate dubbed “Mr Mayhem”, who is helping organise the protests, last week told newspapers he “strongly suggests bankers should stay away from the City” when the G20 Meltdown protests get under way.
He said: “If you're thinking of coming in, my advice is, don't.
“People are incandescent about your bonuses and the way you've destroyed their lives.
“We plan to lay siege to the financiers who have brought us into this recession and who continue to pursue policies that are destroying our planet.”
But Marina Pepper, the former chairwoman of Lewes District Council and ex-mayor of Telscombe, is one of the other organisers of the G20 Meltdown and a leading member of protest group Climate Rush.
She said normal people have nothing to fear from the demonstrators.
She said: “We will be sending out a message to the G20 world leaders that the system that has got us into this mess is broken and we do not see how they can use that same system to get us out of it.”
Ms Pepper believes the warnings over violent clashes have been over hyped, as have claims that many people working in the City are upset about the inconvenience the planned demonstration will cause.
She said: “Climate change is disruptive and so is the financial meltdown. I don't think many people will care if they are disrupted by our protest.
“Threats of violence have not come from us but from the police and the media. We are peace-loving individuals.”
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