Nearly four years later, the High Court has rejected compensation claims by Lois Austin and Geoffrey Saxby who claimed they had been ilegally imprisoned and that their "right to liberty" under the European Convention on Human Rights had been breached when they were held for over seven hours along with thousands of other people.
There are around 150 other claims by people held by the police operation which are depending on the test case outcome.
The pair have been given leave to appeal and say they will do so.
The full judgement will soon be available here:
03/TLQ/0350 Austin v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis
03/TLQ/0411 Saxby v Same
held for over 7 hours
In dismissing the claim for damages Mr Justice Tugendhat said there had been an "unlawful" and deliberate lack of co-operation by the organisers of the protest which had led to the police responding in the way they did.
Keir Starmer QC acting on behalf of the two, told Mr Justice Tugendhat that the lack of toilet facilities led to “inconvenience and distress” with many individuals inevitably being forced to urinate in front of others in the crowd and police officers.
That was relevant to the reasonableness of the action taken by the Metropolitan Police and the question of damages, he said.
“Our broad position is that there is no power to detain those who are not presenting any danger to the peace.
“Transitory detention might be justified in certain circumstances but seven and a half hours without a toilet is unreasonable and certainly not transitory.”
The Met's Assistant Commissioner Steve House said after the case: "The Met believes that if we had not taken this course of action on 1 May 2001 we would have run the very real risk of serious injury to the public and ourselves, plus looting and widespread criminal damage."
Mr Justice Tugendhat agreed with the Met was "duty bound" to impose an absolute cordon to prevent violence and the risk of injury to persons and property.
He added: "The organisers' literature could reasonably be understood as incitement to looting and violence and it was hard to understand it in any other way."
Mr Justice Tugendhat pointed out that the case was about the right to liberty and public order "and not about freedom of speech or freedom of assembly".
He added that if water and toilets had been provided, "they would have been used as weapons against the police by a minority of the crowd".
But Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "Today's judgment should alarm anyone who believes in the right to protest or that people should not be detained en masse like cattle."
Ms Austin said: "It is a disappointing judgement in terms of the right to protest in this country.
"We are worried that protesters are being criminalised for going on the streets and making their protests heard against war and world poverty."