London Indymedia

Evening Standard "Police wear down May Day anarchists"

m hor | 25.03.2004 20:02 | May Day 2004 | Analysis | Indymedia | Repression | London

The Evening Standard ran same story about MayDay as BBC, with a little more detail, managing to get the usual anti-wombles angle in "The Wombles - who dress in protective gear before trying to attack police", and failing utterly, like the BBC, to mention the MayDay NoBorders Dublin weekend of events, running from Friday April 30th to Monday May 3rd, and coinciding with the EU Enlargement Summit and welcome celebrations...

...which is quite odd because the Ireland on Sunday (which is owned by the same newspaper group as the evening standard and daily mail) has been doing a good job of pre-mayday hysteria and lies and specifically attacking the wombles in just the same way the evening standard and mail have done here in the last few years -


For reference here's the BBC one:
Apathy kills off May Day protest
Wednesday, 24 March, 2004, 22:05 GMT

and here for comparison the Evening Standard one:

Police wear down May Day anarchists
By Finian Davern, Evening Standard
24 March 2004

The main group behind London's May Day anti-capitalist and anarchist protests has called off this year's demonstrations.

The Mayday Collective has declared that years of being "herded about" by police has dulled interest in the event. And it complained of growing apathy among its members.

The protest organisation is the central co-ordinator for a range of disparate anti-capitalist groups, some of whom advocate violence and damaging business property.

Its withdrawal is significant for the future of the non-approved marches - traditionally held on May Day - but does not guarantee peace on the streets.

Splinter groups may press ahead with their own demonstrations.

The Mayday Collective, which claims harassment of its ringleaders, says that this year police surveillance has forced activists to shy away.

It has now issued a statement from its main meeting room in Whitechapel, which reads: "We need to face up to the new reality: police intelligence, surveillance and pre-emptive tactics have largely worn us down.

"It is quite clear that nobody wants to be herded around, stopped and searched by the police any longer.

"We are now at a point where we must decide whether an annual May Day event should continue at all.

"The decision to postpone London May Day 2004 was taken only after several disappointing and poorlyattended meetings that produced little in the way of either a concrete proposal or gathering around a strong unifying theme.

"In these circumstances we feel not calling an event this year is the right thing to do."

Thousands of police have been deployed on the streets of the capital for May Day demonstrations since 2000, when there was widespread looting and the Cenotaph was defaced.

In 2001 police out-manoeuvred protesters, 3,000 of whom they trapped in Oxford Circus behind officers carrying riot sheets. Central London was sealed off for hours.

In the past two years police have managed to restrict demonstrators intent on targeting the London offices of "unethical businesses".

The Mayday Collective has links with anti-capitalist groups such as The Wombles - who dress in protective gear before trying to attack police - and Reclaim The Streets, an environment-driven direct-action group.

It has been involved in protests in the capital since June 1999, when anticapitalists looted parts of the City and caused more than £2million worth of damage.

The peaceful, police-approved TUC organised May Day march from Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square is expected to go ahead.

A spokeswoman for the Central London Metropolitan Police said: "We are continuing to monitor to see what plans may be in place this year over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend. We don't discuss specific intelligence issues.

"The TUC have always worked with us and that as far as we are aware that march is going ahead this year."

m hor


Hide the following 5 comments


26.03.2004 08:20

Why on earth would the London Evening Standard, based in London, sold in London, about London, be covering events in Dublin?

Paul Edwards

Oi Paul......

26.03.2004 08:49

...... did you see their front page about Beckham meeting a "Madrid Bomber"?

It seems a bit disingenuous to write a story about the Mayday Collective and neglect to mention what they are actually doing, no?


so disapppointing

26.03.2004 12:13

at first, when i heard the BBC report last night, i began to wonder if we had a case of "black propaganda" (that is, a counterfeit organisation spouting defeatist and disorientating stories). alas, it seems to have been genuine.
to be honest, i thought the turnout for the direct action part of MD 03 was rather lacking. with so few charging down whitehall towards the parliament (while the dingy TUC crew stayed put in traff sq) i thought the police let them off lightly if anything.
the serious question is of course why, with such opposition to government policy at the present time, the appetite for extending this into mayday seems lacking. is it the fault of the masses, or the organisers ? as brecht put it, should we abolish the people, and appoint another ?
well, a rather poor show, what ? since when did big tough anarchists "worry" about the police ?
or officially "cancel" an event ? surely, if these things happen spontaneuously, they can only be cancelled spontaneously too

the dark one

Not organised ????

26.03.2004 13:15

If you are seriously suggesting the Mayday so called "protests" were not an orchestrated event then I pity you. They have been organised by a central government controlled unit for years. It was all just part of the great lie to show the masses how they are "free".

You are all in chains, waiting to be told what to do.

Rise up an destablish a free Britain ? You make me laugh you lot wouldn't have the guts or the knowhow.


Change and Grow!

29.03.2004 08:17

Our movement needs to change and grow!

On the one hand for the past few years we have had a few thousand people who can get out of work on a weekday come to London on Mayday.

Now Mayday comes on a Saturday - a chance for lots more people to get involved - ten or twenty thousand could come...but no one is really going for this opportunity. Of course the state, media and police will see this as a climbdown by us, and a victory for them.

The 'stop the war coalition' could have united with trades unions and others and called a carnival against war, privatisation and racism. Tens of thousands would come -especially if followed by a rock festival in a park. This would be a step forward.

Even without 'direct action' a merely a legal anti-capitalist march and festival involving tens of thousands would help build a real movement. But the STWC are too single issue, their SWP leaders two narrow.

And the 'anarchists'? Well, coz they fetishize 'direct action' (or a ritual echo of it)they exclude creating this possibility themselves. Tens of thousands on a peacefull and legal march would only be a 'reformist' sell out in their view. Better to stay small and pure, with a 'radical' and 'direct action' image, than involve real forces. So better go and be radical tourists in Dublin.

Never mind. Sunday 1st May 2005? Anti-capitalist march, carnival and fun day, in preparation for the G8???!!!

Sectarian Wanker


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