Evening Standard | 29.04.2003 13:57
By Nigel Rosser, Evening Standard
29 April 2003
Anarchists have published a hitlist of more than 60 of the biggest firms in London to be targeted by demonstrators on May Day.
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Scotland Yard is braced for a major confrontation with thousands of protesters after agitators used the internet to target the BBC, an international PR consultancy and companies they accuse of profiteering in the Iraq war, along with government departments and oil multinationals.
Today the Evening Standard can reveal that two of the most notorious anarchists in Europe are at the forefront of a plot to cause chaos on Thursday.
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Mark Brown, who uses an inherited multi-million-pound fortune to fund his extreme political campaigns, and Alessio Lunghi, a university dropout who has been prominent in protests that have resulted in widespread rioting, have been meeting to help orchestrate this year's demonstrations.
But it is the publication of the list that is worrying police the most. One officer said: "They have put all this information in the public domain and clearly they have only one intent: to cause as much trouble as possible."
The list includes comments from the organisers encouraging protesters to target firms as part of the anti-war campaign. Of Wimbledon-based Brown & Root Limited, it says: "Subsidiary of Haliburton (Dick Cheney's mob) who have been granted the contracts to rebuild Iraq including all US military bases they're gonna need!"
It comments of the British Nuclear Industry Forum in Whitehall: "Represents everyone in the nuclear cycle (except the victims!) including those involved in producing uranium and plutonium for military use."
All the information in the list is a matter of public record and readily available from other sources. Police say they have drawn attention to it in order to allow the companies named to take the necessary precautions.
Brown, a member of the Vestey meat dynasty who lives off the proceeds of a £2.7 million trust fund, has rarely been seen in public since being acquitted on charges related to the J18 (June 18) City protest in 1999 which led to riots and £2million damage.
Ringleader: Mark Brown is known to wear disguises
Now Brown and Lunghi - a leader of anarchist group The Wombles, who wear padded white uniforms to break police lines at demonstrations - are believed to be helping plan Thursday's anticapitalist protests. They were secretly photographed last Thursday at a demonstration outside the annual general meeting of BP at the Royal Festival Hall.
As fellow protesters scanned the crowd for police and press photographers the two men had an animated conversation, although they arrived and left separately.
Brown, 39, is the leader of anti-oil group London Rising Tide, which helped orchestrate and promote the BP protest in which stinkbombs were thrown and protesters forcibly ejected from the building. Police believe he may have helped draw up the list of oil industry premises among those circulated to anarchists. Among them are BP, oil-well drillers British American Offshore and Exxon.
Police sources told the Evening Standard: "We believe the organisation of the BP protest and the oil-related targets on May Day could be linked. We are looking at the people at the protest to see what the links between the two are."
Brown came to prominence when he was arrested for allegedly organising the J18 protest. Although he admitted in court to playing a part in setting it up, he was cleared when magistrates accepted he had not organised it.
The court accepted Brown contributed to the event by paying for and providing a stereo system. Police claimed he directed crowds while wearing a suit to blend in with City workers.
Brown, who wore a multicoloured clown wig and a mask during last Thursday's protest, has rarely been seen at demonstrations since that arrest. He is said to have since become "paranoid" about his links with protest groups and is known to wear disguises.
The case led to several City firms investigating the possibility of civil action against him to recoup the cost of damage during the rioting that followed the demonstration. One anarchist source said: "Mark is untrusting, paranoid and very secretive. He tries not to be seen as prominent now while before he was quite overt about it. The whole trial and threat of legal action was quite a shock to him."
A senior City of London policeman said: "He kept his head down for months after we arrested him. It is interesting that he appears to be active again. He laid low for a long time."
Brown's links with Lunghi, 25, have not previously been revealed. The two are believed to have met through anti-capitalist groups in London although Brown regularly travels overseas to attend antiglobalisation conferences.
Lunghi was identified by the Standard last year as a key organiser of the May Day demonstrations which culminated in running battles through the streets of Soho. Five policemen were injured in the violence. In 2001 he helped set up and paid for the May Day "Monopoly" website that listed targets for the protesters