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<nettime> City of London faces mass protest threat (from j18 list)
Patrice Riemens on Wed, 19 May 1999 17:09:57 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> City of London faces mass protest threat (from j18 list)


Message 72/120 lancaster collective               
Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 22:01:03 +0100 (BST)
To: Multiple recipients of list <j18discussion {AT} gn.apc.org>
Subject: Text of article UK/Sunday Telegraph.


The article is on the Sunday Telegraph web site under the 'City' link
at the bottom of the front page, you have to register to get at it, but
you can just give a duff name/address/e-mail.

site address is www.telegraph.co.uk

text is as follows... formatting's probably crap though... my apologies!
They've even included helpful links to the main j18 web site!

City faces mass protest threat
By Grant Ringshaw

  BANKS and finance houses are being urged by the City of London
Police and the British Bankers Association to tighten security and
alert their staff after uncovering plans by protest groups to bring
Britain's financial centre to a standstill.

The police are investigating a shadowy organisation known as the j18
network which has been using the internet to drum up support for the
demonstration. The network's website says the protest will be "in
recognition that the global capitalist system, based on the
exploitation of people and the planet for the profit of the few, is at
the root of our social and ecological troubles".

But leading City firms have said they will defy any attempt to close
them by the mass picket and will continue to trade as normal. "We will
not bow to these people. We have money to make here," said one City
professional. "No one should be embarrassed about working in the City
of London, which makes such a huge contribution to the economy," said
another.

Banking and finance trade bodies, including the British Bankers
Association, the London Stock Exchange and the Association of British
Insurers, have been alerted to the prospect of thousands of protesters
invading the Square Mile on June 18.

The mass protest is timed to coincide with the meeting of the Group of
Seven leading industrial nations in Cologne. A spokesman at j18
network's north London office said similar demonstrations will take
place in financial centres throughout Europe, America and Asia. It
claims to have organised protests in 30 financial centres last May
during a G7 meeting.

The police are investigating the group but details of funding and key
figures remain sketchy. What is known is that j18 operates in small
cells of perhaps a dozen individuals who use e-mail and the internet
to communicate. City insiders say the police are taking the protest
threat seriously and expect at least 10,000 demonstrators to take to
the streets. One insider close to the discussions said the police are
even concerned about reports of a huge surge in sales of second-hand
suits in Oxfam and other charity shops outside London.

The j18 network claims its protest has the support of groups such as
the National Union of Students and Church Action on Poverty. But the
authorities are known to be concerned about other protest groups.
These include Reclaim the Streets, which organised a similar stop the
City campaign 15 years ago. That resulted in windows being smashed and
attempts to invade dealing rooms.

Security chiefs from some of the biggest banks and insurance companies
have been briefed by the City of London Police. Insiders say the
police are particularly worried that recognisable City figures will be
targeted. Likely victims are thought to be the heads of retail banks
such as Derek Wanless, chief executive of NatWest and Sir Brian
Pitman, the chairman of Lloyds TSB. Another target could be Lord
Levene, the Lord Major of London. Other tactics are thought to include
burning of share certificates, handing out wads of fake money, spray
painting of buildings and even throwing custard pies at bankers.

A spokesman for one London investment bank said: "The police have been
coordinating banks, encouraging them to swap information. The whole
City is taking this issue very seriously. There is a feeling that it
will not stop the City, but that there could be considerable
disruption."

Though the tens of thousands of ordinary workers are unlikely to be
directly targeted by the protesters, most banks have kept silent so
far in a bid not to alarm staff. However many are drawing up plans to
brief staff in the next two weeks.


g.lancaster collective
lancaster j18 web site www.june18.freeuk.com


"To work for delight and authentic festivity is barely distinguishable
 from preparing for a general insurrection."
 Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution of Everyday Life.

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