Anarchists and Police Warn of Full Scale Street Battles Tomorrow and at Margaret Thatchers Funeral Procession
by Russ McSpadden / Earth First! News
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Back in March of 1990, during the poll tax riots in London, more than 200,000 people engaged in protest, direct action and full scale rioting over the hugely unpopular new tax system introduced by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the conservative government. Amidst the wild chaos of the night an anarchist collective by the name Class War proposed a grand celebration in Trafalgar Square for the first Saturday after the future event of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death.
It was a farsighted call-to-party over the passing of a right-wing politician who was a full 23 years from her death bed.
Tomorrow, April 13th happens to be that first Saturday.
During the poll tax riots, which would be instrumental in the demise of Thatcher’s career, anarchists, out-of-work coal miners and a diverse mix of other activists defended themselves against riot police with scaffolding, bottles, bricks and fists and flooded the city with rage. London’s wealthy shopping districts were looted and the South African embassy, symbol of the brutal apartheid regime in place at the time, was set ablaze.
Just today, London’s Mayor Boris Johnson announced that police in the capital are preparing for that riotous party, 23 years in the making, over the death of the Baroness Margaret Thatcher, who died on Monday of a stroke in the Ritz hotel in London.
And while Class War, the collective, no longer exists as a cohesive group, Ian Bone, a 65-year-old former member recently called for an effigy of Thatcher to be hung from the fourth plinth in the square.
According to reports from the government, anarchist groups have warned of mass protests on Saturday involving 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Elsewhere the party has already begun. Protests celebrating the death of Thatcher in Bristol on Wednesday evolved into several small clashes between activists and police ending with a full riot. Bristol’s police commissioner has warned that further disorder will be met with “robust” police measures.
Anonymous protesters at the event told the media that this was but “the first party of many” adding, “We see this as one more battle in the ongoing class war that Thatcher escalated. It won’t be the last.”
On Monday, police claim that roughly a hundred protesters in Brixton caused “low level disorder including throwing missiles at officers.”
And online, some 3,000 people have joined the Facebook group “Maggie’s Good Riddance Party”, which promises to host a “right jolly knees up” outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral, where protesters plan to literally turn their backs on Margaret Thatcher as she is carried by in a lavish funeral carriage next Wednesday.
Online comments hint at civil unrest.
Protests, police violence, and riot, should they break out along the funeral route, will be watched on television by millions around the world.
One can only guess what tomorrow’s party will look like, what high level disorder will look like, but as one protester concluded in an online post, “We’ll be making noise enough to ensure that Baroness Thatcher rolls over in her grave.”