Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roadwork Rubbish Is Cleaned Up amid Fear of Rioting; as Gordon Globetrots in South America, Standard Highlights the Embarrassing Mess in His Own Backyard

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Roadwork Rubbish Is Cleaned Up amid Fear of Rioting; as Gordon Globetrots in South America, Standard Highlights the Embarrassing Mess in His Own Backyard

Article excerpt

Byline: PETER DOMINICZAK

THE rubble-strewn streets around Whitehall have embarrassed the Government into ordering an emergency clean-up of roadworks before the G20 summit.

With world leaders arriving next Wednesday, authorities realised at the last minute that construction works were blighting the image of the city.

The clean-up comes as London braces itself for days of protests, beginning tomorrow with a Put People First march through the capital to a mass rally in Hyde Park. Police are planning for 20,000 demonstrators.

On Wednesday protesters will converge on the Bank of England on what is being dubbed Financial Fools Day.

On Thursday activists will target the G20 summit itself, held at the Excel conference centre in east London.

Protest groups claim up to 100,000 could take to the streets in the coming days, fuelled by anger over the recession and hatred for City bankers.

There are fears that discarded lumps of concrete, bricks, wooden stakes and scaffolding poles at construction sites could be used as weapons by some demonstrators intent on violence.

All police leave in the capital has been cancelled, with hundreds of reinforcements drafted in from other forces as security chiefs prepare for an "unprecedented level of protests".

Metropolitan police chief Sir Paul Stephenson refused to say whether foreign police forces will assist the security operation, but the US Secret Service is expected to have been given special permission to carry guns to protect President Barack Obama.

This morning Whitehall and Parliament Square were strewn with rubble from major works. New paving stones are being laid in Whitehall for a 100- yard stretch outside Downing Street, while water pipes are being replaced in Whitehall and Parliament Square.

Government sources have told the Evening Standard that officials at the Cabinet Office and Department for Transport issued an order to clear up and close the works late yesterday. …

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