Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

3,000 Riot Police on Alert for Sand-Pit Protests; Radicals Plan to Use Children to Block Streets at G20 Summit; CAMPAIGN GROUPS; ARE JOINING FORCES FOR PROTEST, WARN POLICE

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

3,000 Riot Police on Alert for Sand-Pit Protests; Radicals Plan to Use Children to Block Streets at G20 Summit; CAMPAIGN GROUPS; ARE JOINING FORCES FOR PROTEST, WARN POLICE

Article excerpt

Byline: JUSTIN DAVENPORT Crime Correspondent

THOUSANDS of riot police are to tackle G20 protesters who plan to use giant sand pits to bring London to a standstill.

Up to 3,000 officers will be on duty for the two days of next month's summit of world leaders. They are preparing to face an alliance of radical protest groups who they believe are plotting to use trucks to dump huge quantities of sand in the streets.

Senior police sources say the protesters plan to bring children to play in the giant sand pits, making it impossible for officers to use force to remove them.

The demonstrations, centred on the City, could be on a scale not seen since the height of the May Day protests of the mid- Nineties. At the same time Scotland Yard is involved in security for the leaders of 20 countries, including President Barack Obama, attending the summit on 2 and 3 April at the ExCel centre in Docklands.

The [pounds sterling]10 million operation for the summit is the biggest yet mounted by Scotland Yard with Mr Obama arriving on 31 March.

Scotland Yard, which is co-ordinating an operation involving six forces, said it was expecting simultaneous protests at several locations across the capital.

Specialist police climbers will be on standby to tackle demonstrators planning to scale tall buildings. One group, Climate Camp, will set up in the City in an attempt to highlight the cost of global warming and what they claim is inaction by business on the issue. This group alone could attract up to 2,000 protesters, some of whom are meeting this weekend to discuss tactics.

Officers also fear a new development in which thousands of students could also take to the streets to join the protests.

One of the key organisers is believed to be a senior lecturer at the University of East London.

Police say they are seeing a re- emergence of protest groups such as Reclaim the Streets and The Wombles. …

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