IMC | 01.05.2003 23:01 | May Day 2003
10:13pm More than an hour later and people are still being released, some searched and photographed.
9:17pm Almost half an hour later, police are still letting the crowd out one at a time and dispersing them - but now there is a spitting rain
8:50pm Centre of Trafalgar Sq.: Riot police are identifying and arresting people from inside the cordon. 50 people have already been arrested and taken away in vans; a bus has arrived to get more. The charges are unknown: no one can even approach the scene to ask. Those who are not arrested are body searched and identified, then escorted out of the scene by riot police.
8:46pm Cordoned people are allowed out one at a time, escorted by and dispersed at Embankment tube (video). Also. a group of 8 is reported to be beaten up in St. James's (not clear if this is a report of the same group mentioned at 8.15).
8:39pm Piccadilly: 30 protestors have sat down at the fountain of Eros. FIT (Forward Intelligence Team, i.e. police with cameras) and a few riot police are looking on.
8:34pm In the middle of Picadily Circus, some protestors are surrounded by riot police - legal observers are with them.
8:15pm Riot police charge against people, who run off towards Picadilly with the sound system. Once there, about 15 demonstrators get brutally beaten up by police.
8:08pm While riot police charge in surrounding streets, main group is still held at Strand, off Trafalgar Squate.
8:05pm Hundreds of riot police have cleared off the square, while 20 more police vans are being deployed and more are getting ready. They have also charged against people standing on The Mall. Protestors see it as a wild over reaction by police.
8:04pm Two more arrests made: one in Trafalgar Sq. and the other in Charing Cross Station. Police haven't disclosed the charges.
7:58pm Riot police are moving into Trafalgar Sq (video). Some people break away from the containment including sound system.
7:50pm Whitehall and The Mall still sealed off completely. The cordoned people are totally hemmed in on road into Trafalgar Square [webcam].
There is also another group of riot police moving in. According to BBC 24 news there are 400 protestors and 4000 police
7:48pm Many reports of people beaten badly after the square has been cleared. A considerable number of head injuries.
7:40pm Police without riot gear are clearing the square - Riot police are waiting to move against the main group.
7:30pm Police increased numbers and more are donning the riot gear. The crowd of 1500 protestors is very fluffy but stands firm. Whitehall and The Mall sealed off completely.
7:22pm Strand end: Riot police forming up in front of the surrounded crowd - many supporters outside the blocked area in Trafalgar Square - Police put away their shields for some reason.
7:21pm Audio report about people being let out from the cordon at the Strand end of Trafalgar Sqare, then chased up and truncheoned by riot police.
7:15pm More arrests, more police changing into riot gear (pics)
7:00pm Deadline for dispersal approaching (7:05pm), police getting into riot gear - (audio). At the strand end, two cordons of police build up.
6:45pm Police attacked camera crews, several arrests made.
6:35pm The Samba band joined the sound system - demonstrators push through police line but are violently pushed back.
6:00pm Protesters still dancing in Trafalgar Square .
5:20pm A group of stock brokers are rapping and breakdancing in Trafalgar Square. Police have declared that protesters will have 2 hours to disperse, then they will be forcibly removed.
5:10pm A "Section 14" order has been placed on about 400 protesters at the junction of Trafalgar Square and the Strand (audio). Police are giving protesters two hours to disperse completely, or face arrest.Hear full text megaphone announcement of section 14 announcement.Unperturbed, people are dancing to the music coming from a mobile sound system and a violinist.
5:00pm Police have lifted the Duncannon Street cordon, but it appears they now want to surround the whole of Trafalgar Square, with around 1,000 people in it.
4:55pm Mounted riot police in Trafalgar Square are now heading towards Whitehall.
4:45pm Some protesters were surrounded by police in Trafalgar Square but managed to break out and are joining demonstrators coming up Whitehall. A heavy police presence is holding back a crowd of 500 at Duncannon Street, on the north east side of Trafalgar Square. The sound system continued to play and police charged again.
4.40pm Trafalgar Square: The police charge against the dancing crowd. Approx 700 protesters inside cordon at Strand end of Trafalgar square have been ordered with section 14 of the public order act 1986: for disruption of the business community. Meanwhile, one arrest on Duncannon Street. When asked about the charges, journalists are pushed away.
4:30pm Parliament Square: Fluffy protest with people stage diving from a crane into the crowd (pics). Police are still trying to get protesters elsewhere to go to Trafalgar Square.
4.30pm Trafalgar Square: Protesters are still cordoned in at the north east end by Duncannon Street (pics), while a sound system arrives on a bike and the rest of the crowd in the square dances to it (pics 1 | 2)
4:25pm Protesters pushed further down Charing X (audio report).
4.20pm Approx 20 - 30 police vans and 2 rows of police lines are blocking Whitehall.
4:10pm A demonstration numbering about 200 moving down Charing X to Trafalgar Square is being "escorted" by 500 police and a column of 60-80 riot vans. Police are pushing marchers into a very narrow lane and trying to stop anyone from joining them. At present the Square is almost empty, but a handful of people are heading down Whitehall, with dozens of riot vans in hot pursuit.
4:00pm Protesters confuse police by running past Trafalgar Square and towards Picadilly. Almost no police up there.
3:55pm A group of protesters has appear on Picadilly. The cordon at Cambridge Circus has now been opened and protesters are marching towards Trafalgar Square. It has been confirmed that one person was carried away on a stretcher from the Lockheed Martin protest at 3 o'clock.
3:45pm Protesters outfox police by breaking into side streets before being sectioned, and running towards Trafalgar Square.
3:40pm Having steered protesters towards Trafalgar Square, police are now using force to stop them from entering it. Strand protest now stationary at Adam Street, unable to reach TUC demo in the Square. Meanwhile, police are getting heavy-handed at a sit-down protest at Cambridge Circus. Those trying to break out of a cordon there are receiving "special treatment".
3:30pm Cordoned march arrived at Trafalgar Square, but held at the North East end of it while other marches arrive to the square from other corners and police start to line up at the entrances to the square. (pics)
3:20pm Samba band and cyclists continue to elude police, now heading south down Kingsway and dancing on the Strand. At Lockheed Martin, police have released protesters from the cordons.
3:10pm The protest that started in front of Lockheed Martin has been served a 'Section 12' order to join the official march down Charing Cross and towards Trafalgar Square - or face arrest. On hearing this, protesters staged a spontaneous mass sit-down.
On Shaftesbury Avenue, around 2,000 people are being forced to march or stop as they are cordoned by two lines of police and followed by 20 police vans.
3:05pm Critical Mass and Samba band crossed through Covent Garden, past the Masons' Lodge, and are heading towards Southampton Row. Lots of dancing, drums, fancy dress.
2:57pm A demonstrator inside the cordon is smashed against a fence and left unconscious. Police prevent journalists from photographing the scene and those who protest are violently thrown into the cordon. When the crowd is against forced to move one, there is no trace or news of the uncnscious demonstrator.
2:55pm 5-10 people have succeeded in breaking out of the police cordon around the Lockheed Martin protests. The rest of them are forced to march or stop at Police's commnd as they are pushed slowly towards Trafalgar Square.
2:45pm Critical Mass has joined the breakaway branch near Charing X, and together with a samba band they a blocking the traffic with music and dancing.
2:30pm A couple of hundred people have split off from the main march down Shaftesbury Avenue (pics). Nervous police are in hot pursuit. The group held in front of Lockheed Martin on Endell Street is still cordoned off by cops.
2:25pm The police line dividing the two groups turns into a closed cordon. People are not let in or out in order to 'prevent a breach of the peace'.
2:20pm The Samba Band livens up the demonstration and people join and start marching down Shaftesbury Avenue (pic). Police split up the crowd by charging the end of the march.
2:15pm Around 600 people have gathered outside the offices of arms manufacturers Lockheed Martin in High Holborn. Demonstrators have blocked the traffic and are shouting anti-war slogans. Atmosphere is calm but large numbers of police and surveillance teams are in the area. (pics)
1:50pm The Trade Union demonstration was joined by Socialist Stockbrokers!
1:30pm The TUC march has now reached Holborn. Large numbers of police are in the area and reports of Kingsway being blocked off by police lines. Reports of a few demosntrators being stopped and searched by the police for wearing masks.
1:20pm Reports of one arrest for criminal damage and posession of an offensive weapon in Regent St.
1:15pm Critical Mass has now stopped and having a rest in St. James' Park (pics). They plan to move on shortly.
1:00pm The Trade Union March from Clerkenwell Green set off.
1:00pm Reports coming in that all bus routes from Totehnham Court Road to Holborn have been stopped. Hundreds of commuters are currently stranded in central London.
12:47pm Critical Mass has now stopped outside Downing St and people are dancing to the sounds of the mobile sound system.
12:45pm Thousands are marching in the Trade Union's demonstration from Clerkenwell Green (audio and pics 1 | 2). 2 police helicopters are now hovering over the demonstration.
12:00pm Critical Mass participants has now increased to 300 cyclists and a mobile sound system. It has now reached Fleet St in The City where traffic has been blocked.Guilfin picture gallery.
11:30am Critical Mass has now set off with around 200 ciclists taking part. (pics)
11:00am 150 people are assembling outside London's South Bank NFT for the Critical Mass bycicle ride.
10:30am People are demonstrating against fur trade and for animal rights outside Dolce & Gabanna, in Old Bond Street and then moved on to Selfridges in Oxford Street (pics | audio 1 and 2)
10:00am Around 4,000 police are on stand by in London for today's protests, whilst many shops and business in London's West End, Mayfair and The City have been boarded up through the night (report).