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Update: G20 protests turn violent
12:47pm Wednesday 1st April 2009 in News
RIOTS: Demonstrators smash into the RBS Bank in Thread Needle Street, during G20 demonstrations, in central London. Photo by Gareth Fuller/PA WIre
The G20 protests have begun to take a violent turn this afternoon. The demonstrators, which include two leading Sussex activists, have been congregating in the City of London since this morning.
At about 2.30pm, a violent mob targeted a Royal Bank of Scotland building.
Windows were smashed and a group of demonstrators - their faces covered by bandanas - entered the building near the Bank of England.
Around the branch, which is believed to be empty, hundreds of demonstrators charged police lines as officers hit back with baton charges.
Leading part of the main protest is Marina Pepper, former chairwoman of Lewes District Council and ex-mayor of Telscombe, and 1960s Sussex graduate Professor Chris Knight, organisers of the G20 Meltdown.
Professor Knight, also known as “Mr Mayhem”, said earlier this week: “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.”
Ms Pepper told the Argus: “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.”
Workers commuting from Sussex to the City have been warned to dress down to avoid becoming targets if the protests turn violent.
Television star and comedian Russell Brand joined the huge mass of protesters gathering outside the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street. Wearing a black baggy woollen hat and with a small group of friends, he waved and gave the thumbs-up to fellow demonstrators.
He said: "I always come to these kind of things, I'm very interested. I am interested in learning and interested in why these people have come to this. I wonder what alternatives there are and I think it makes people cogent of them. I think it's also very beautiful.”
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