This Is London
Hunt for five May Day anarchists
by Nigel Rosser and Justin Davenport
Do you know these anarchists?
Police are today desperately hunting five anarchists before
the May Day protests begin.
They fear the anarchists - who vanished after allegedly
causing mayhem at the demonstration last year - may be
plotting to return and incite further violence at the
protests in central London tomorrow.
All five are wanted for questioning in connection with a
series of public order offences including violence and
criminal damage. Police sources said: "They were serious
The anarchists were allegedly spotted carrying out the
offences during the massive police surveillance operation in
and around Oxford Circus last year when thousands of
protesters were trapped by ranks of police for six hours.
Now police are urgently appealing for information as to the
whereabouts of the five before this year's demonstration as
scores of hard-core demonstrators from all over the country
and the continent gather in London in preparation for the
One senior officer said: "We hope by exposing them we can
get them before they arrive in London this time."
Anti-capitalist leaders have already set up a four-storey
squat in the City where anarchists can find food and shelter
in the run up to May Day.
At the weekend they took over an empty café in Great Eastern
Street, close to Liverpool Street Station, where people are
being given legal training in what to say and do when
arrested. They are also being given emergency first aid
The squat is festooned with flags and placards saying "May
Day, change the world for the better." In recent days the
electricity has been restored and anarchists have boarded up
ground-floor windows to prevent people seeing what is
At similar centres used before last year's protests,
anarchists daubed anti-police slogans on the wall and made
body-armour to help their attempts to breach police lines
One activist occupying the building, who did not want to be
named, insisted the property was being used to coordinate
harmless May Day activities such as street performances.
He said plans were being drawn up to prevent a similar
situation to last year's May Day protest, when police herded
and surrounded the demonstrators at Oxford Circus.
He said: "The police have raided squats all over London
being used to plan May Day in the past week and we reckon
they will raid us on the day."
He denied violence was being planned. He said: "There could
be violence on the day but it will come from the police, not
us. We don't want trouble and we don't advocate violent
struggle. We have a right to demonstrate. The fact is
capitalism is responsible for a lot of environmental and
Anarchist leaders are planning a mass game of mediaeval
street football in Oxford Circus, using buildings for goals,
before heading to the American Embassy in Grosvenor Square
to join demonstrators protesting against America's "war on
Although thousands are expected to attend, apathy and the
knock-on effect of the 11 September terror attacks have
diminished the anarchist ranks this year, police believe,
although a hard core of anarchists remains bent on violence.
Police have already briefed big businesses in the City and
the centre of London about the potential for disruption on
Firms have been giving advice to employees including not
wearing suits to work. Food is being stockpiled inside
offices so workers don't have to go out onto the streets.
Windows are being boarded up.
Appealing for information concerning the five suspects
pictured, Detective Sergeant Paul Kitely said: "Our
inquiries into identifying these five people continue. We
would urge anyone who has information as to who they are and
where they live to contact police.
"We want to interview these people in connection with the
anti-capitalist demonstrations on 1 May 2001."
If you know any of the five anarchists, contact
Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.