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Mayday 2001 Timeline

indymedia | 30.04.2001 23:00 | May Day 2001 | Free Spaces | Globalisation | Social Struggles | London

Timeline of events and actions in London on Mayday 2001.

Oxford Circus
M1 timeline

+++ 2.May,1:00am 91 people have been arrested, 17 have been charged for different offences and at least 20 of them have already been released. Charges range from violent disorder to possession of cannabis. One guy got arresed for not taking off his sunglasses! (candidate for arrest of the week)

+++ 22:00 Scotland Yard admits the following: 10 protestors with injuries 1 protestor with serious head injury 1 police officer with a back injury 1 unidentified and unconfirmed injury to an officer

+++ 21:40 Police have finally released most of the people detained at Oxford Circus. Those detained began to protest when they realised they were going to be held indefinitely, and tensions rose. The police at last speeded up the agonisingly slow process of searching, photographing and releasing people one by one, and most have now been freed. Much of the West End is now like a militarized zone - riot police on every corner, vanloads more on every side street , and police starts to violently disperse those who were still in the streets around Oxford Circus. [Photo1] | [Photo2] A few shop fronts have been damaged. Read first hand account.

+++ 21.30 Reports that police are now clearing the Regent St exit of Oxford St - reports of police being 'hyped up'; attacking some people, who were left shaken and injured.

+++ 21:25: Police are starting to squeeze the Oxford Street crowd northwards and are allowing small groups to leave.

+++ 21:10 Police have started to release the remaining people from the Holles St containment area one by one, after searching and photographing them.

+++ 20.30 After breaking the policeline with a good-humoured confrontational attitude, 547 people dispersed from Holles St - everyone photographed, but not searched.

+++ 19:00 Holles St: a man sitting on the kerb was ordered to move by police. When he asked why, police dragged him to his feet and threw him against a shopfront. Other police surrounded him so that no-one could see what was happening, and he was hauled away.

+++ 18:47 More police are pushing the crowd of trapped protestors further into the middle of Oxford Circus, causing a crush. Police are using tannoys to announce that people will be "released through proscribed exits" in due course.

+++ 18: 30 A couple of people are on the roof of John Lewis, overlooking those still trapped in Holles St.

+++ 18:30 Reports that websites supporting May Day protests, including Urban 75, have been blocked by the RM Network, the facility used by most schools to connect to the web. All mainstream media links remain open.

+++ 18:10 The boarded-up Nike Town store was pelted by a few of the protestors still hemmed by police at Oxford Circus. A line of riot cops moved in to protect the shop front, while others moved in on either side further compressing the crowd, still around a thousand strong, which includes tourists and office workers as well as protestors.

+++ 17:47 Several hundred people are left in Oxford Circus ­ some of the crowd has left the area, though dozens of vans of riot police are still waiting down every side street.

+++ 17:33 Around Oxford Circus police are still in control, but the 50 or so Wombles who broke through the police lines and around 1000 protestors are now in West End/ Mayfair area, laughing, celebrating and enjoying their freedom. The few police in this area are leaving.

+++ 17:30 North of Oxford Circus: atmosphere still festive despite cold and wet.

+++ 17:23 Wombles have broken through police lines to the west of Oxford Circus, supported by at least 1000 protestors. Confusing situation: in some cases protestors out manoeuvring police.

+++ 17:13 3-400 people, near Cavendish Sq running battles with horse-mounted riot police outside John Lewis store. Samba band maintaining atmosphere of defiance.

+++ 17:09 Police have reduced the size of the containment area at Oxford Circus, corralling protestors closer together

+++ 17:05 Protestors trying to escape police containment in Hollis St - so far unsuccessfully.

+++ 16:50 Windows smashed at H&Ms.

+++ 16:43 Samba band is trapped Hollis street with around 300 people, surrounded by riot police. WOMBLES have arrived ­ heading down Oxford St towards police line.

+++ 16:39 Police reinforcements arriving in riot vans ­ clearly manoeuvring in preparation for something. Crowds surging forward toward Oxford Circus.

+++ 15:55 Market Place ­ a large crowd of protestors has arrived and successfully pushed back police lines. Police are responding with horses, and some sort of orange gas. Large clouds of gas billowing down the street.. Fire crackers are going off, people fleeing down the street.

+++ 15:45 Market Place on the north side of Oxford Circus: tensions rising, at least one person held down by police, truncheons waving, crowd demanding that they let him go.

+++ 15:35: Eighteen people arrested so far; police closing in on the penned-in crowd around Oxford Circus, so the crowd pushed the police lines. The police responded with a baton charge. Protestors then threw things at the police, who charged again.

+++ 15:15 An area of crowd towards Regent street are clashing with the police. On the North west corner of the crossroads the ploice are sending snatch squads into the crowd. Atmosphere turned quickly into one of fear.

+++ 15:10 The police containment zone has been expanded to half way down Regent street. Normal ploice in uniforms are now changing into riot gear and acting aggressivly towards the crowd.

+++ 14:50 100 LSE students have just arrived in Oxford street, reports coming in of the tension rising as the crowd feel more and more cornered by a mounting police build up.

+++ 14:35 Official Section 60 on Oxford street area. Riot police in many side streets getting ready for something - but the crowd in the area are relaxed and in good spirits although very tightly packed in. The Tube is now closed.

+++ 14:30 Waterloo Bridge: police are searching pedestrians crossing the bridge.

+++ 14:25 All bridges across the river have been blocked. About 400 people arrived at Lambeth Bridge - with no attempt to breach the police line across the river. Crowd now splitting up to make their own way to the West End.

+++ 14:20 A large crowd of 2000 people entered the junction of Oxford st and Regent st. The police have blocked off The north exit of Regent st and the south with 20 riot vans each. Protesters and tourists are finding it hard to leave the area, with the police now blocking off Oxford street with horses.

+++ 13:59 Anti-Debt Protest at World Bank Offices: diverse groups including Globalise Resistance - in total around 1000 protestors, are now moving quickly up Regent Street.

+++13:48 Anti-privatization South London Picnic: protesters began moving off from Elephant & Castle towards Kennington. Police tried to prevent the protesters from moving. People found side streets unblocked and entered them, were temporarily split into two groups of about 300 and 100. One group in a side street was blocked on both sides. All the demonstrators are now heading towards the Southbank area.

+++13:19: Euston: report from a woman just searched: most people still surrounded, police are attempting to photograph everyone from up close [though the right to refuse this can be exercised though impossible when the camera is at a distance], being asked for names and address - but people are refusing and the police are accepting this.

+++12:55: Coutts bank [see below: Cancel all Debt]: 100 people demonstrated. Police prevented later arriving demonstrators from joining. Later dispersed without trouble.

+++ 12:46: Elephant & Castle [Anti-privatization South London Picnic]: 300 protesters and their numbers growing, with banners, pedal bike generated electricity. 'Wombles' are there. A sound system has arrived, people have been moved off the road onto the roundabout, a chilled out atmosphere.

+++ Euston: 150 still surrounded with only one exit, where the police are searching the cyclist one by one for weapons!

+++12:45: Malet Street: 100 people [see below: Student Action Against Fees]: police surrounded the protestors - with the intention of removing peoples revelling masks under a 'Section 60' order. When independent Legal Observers informed the police that they were acting beyond the law the section 60 order was dropped.

+++ 12:35: Euston: people are trying to get out en masse of the plaza.
++Trafalgar Square: police have sorrounded the square. Anyone who was earlier feeding the pigeons has been coralled in. [See feature report below]

+++ 12:19: a 'Section 60' has been declared by the police [legally only a search for weapons but illegally used by the police to obtain names etc]. Police reinforcements have been called with the intention of doing a "stop and search" of all the cyclists for weapons! Two groups of about 100 people have broken through police lines, and are cycling around evading the police.

+++ 12:03: massive police numbers are completely surrounding Euston refusing to let people who want to leave pass through police lines.

+++ 11:50: approximately 1000 people in Euston Station plaza. Police blocking them from returning west along Euston Road. An autonomous news stand has been set up opposite the usual newstand just outside of Angel tube. See Newswire. photo

+++ 11:23: heavy police 'escort' for the Critical Mass along Marylebone Road. Hackney: 1000's of council workers are on strike protesting cuts to low paid workers and services.

+++ 10.40: 1000 people at Kings Cross. Police lines have moved in on Marylebone Road from west and are indicating that people should start moving off. Police are blocking off side streets as the Critical Mass moves west. The police have aggressively pulled a protester from their cycle.

+++ 10.00: both Critical Mass bike rides have arrived at Kings X where they have blockaded the street and have joined the animal rights protesters in front of McDonalds.

+++ 09:45: animal rights activists give out free veggie burgers in front of Kings X McDonalds. Large numbers of both mainstream media and police are present.

+++ 9:30: Police have released the 3 detained people, Critical Mass is now moving along Farringdon Road towards Kings X, no incidents at the other Critical Mass which is currently at Aldwych

+++ 9:10: Police have arrested 3 people from the peaceful Critical Mass between London Bridge and Cannon Street - people have stopped and are blockading the road.

+++ 8:20: Eastern branch of the Critical Mass passes Aldgate East, 350 people, great atmosphere - western branch passes Marble Arch, 200 participants, lots of support from local people.

+++ 08:00: Critical Mass bike rides have set off - Mayday Monopoly has officially started!!

+++ Convergence Centre likely to be evicted later today

+++ London in the morning: thousands of cops are greeted by protesters

+++ Celebrations and confrontations in Berlin the night before Mayday Indymedia Germany

+++ Critical Mass bike rides and blockades of financial centres in Australia Indymedia Melbourne