City workers taunt G20 protestors - with video report
CITY workers waved £10 notes at G20 protesters today as thousands descended on London's financial heartland.
Bankers leaning out of office windows taunted demonstrators on the streets below, who responded with jeers and shouts.
Environmentalists, anarchists, anti-war protesters and workers hit by the financial crisis congregated on the Bank of England to demand action from world leaders.
There were minor scuffles in sections of the crowd as a small group of masked protesters confronted police, but the protests were largely peaceful.
Thousands of officers shepherded protesters carrying banners proclaiming "Balls to the Banks" and "Punish the looters" and carrying effigies of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Businesses surrounding the Bank were boarded up and dozens of officers guarded each entrance as the protesters congregated outside.
Former financial worker Caroline Carter, 49, from Chertsey in Surrey, wore a T-shirt with a picture of Home Secretary Jacqui Smith and the word "traitor".
She said: "Believe you me, this is going to get a lot worse by the end of this year.
"I suggest the bankers give up some of their pensions and give something back to the community."
Christine Hickey, 64, from Sutton, Surrey, said: "I'm just fed-up with the bankers who've got away with taking all this money.
"People are losing jobs and their homes and I'm fed-up with it.
"I'm not here with anyone today but wanted to come along to show my support. It all seems good-natured."
The Metropolitan Police said no arrests had been reported by midday.
Outside the bank, missiles – including fruit – were thrown towards police as red smoke rose above the crowd.
IT worker Nathan Dean, 35, from Bromley in south east London, said he lost his job three weeks ago and fears that in the current climate he will not be able to find another.
"Every job I apply for there's already 150 people who have also applied," he said.
"I have had to sign on to the dole for the first time in my life."
The IT worker said his primary reason for attending the march was excessive bank charges for going overdrawn.
"You end up having to pay your mortgage on your credit card and you fall into debt twice over."
From just after 11am the "four horsemen" headed marches to the Bank from Moorgate, Liverpool Street, Cannon Street and London Bridge.
At Liverpool Street, a medical worker who did not wish to be named, called for "clean capitalism".
He said: "We need clean capitalism. Capitalism only works if people don't take more out than they need."
He added: "I am a family man. I design medical devices, I'm here by myself – I am not part of any group. And to be honest, I'm not sure this will make any difference. The same people will still be in power."
"But at some point you have to take a stand and I could not stand by any more and do nothing.
"Maybe someone somewhere will listen to my little voice and I will make a little difference."
At Moorgate, unemployed Adam Lambert, 25, of Finsbury Park, north London, from Stop the War Coalition, said the G20 leaders were "not representing the ordinary people in the world".
He accused police of wrongly portraying the demonstrators as "incredibly violent".
He said: "We think they are representing the rich. Every day we hear of billions being given to bankers and billions are being spent on wars.
"We want to demonstrate today to say we are not going to put up with this and the G20 should represent us."
"I think people are angry and they want to show their anger."
Masked demonstrators said police tried to remove their bandanas.
One 16-year-old boy from east London said: "The police told me I'm not allowed to hide my identity.
"They said I had given the impression that I was about to cause anti-social behaviour. They took my bandana off me."
Roger Little, 27, an administration worker from Birmingham, said he travelled overnight with four friends to join the day of protest.
He said: "I am not a member of any of the groups represented today but I felt compelled to come down.
"We are going to march with a noisy protest in the middle of the City to show the people that are benefiting most from this system that we are not going to put up with it.
"It's also symbolic against the G20 summit because they always stick up for the interest of the rich and powerful.
"We want not just to have our voice but ideally to stop them and shut them down through sheer weight of numbers."
There was a substantial police presence in the streets around the Bank from early this morning with dog vans, buses full of officers and, overhead, helicopters hovering.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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