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Mayday 01 corporate media coverage (19Apr)

indymedia | 19.04.2001 22:00 | May Day 2001

Mainstream coverage of Mayday 2001 (19 Apr articles).

19 Apr 2001

Body Shop is backing May Day protesters
By Sandra Laville
ANITA RODDICK, the Body Shop founder, has publicly supported a camp at which May Day anarchists are learning direct action techniques - Police expect around 5,000 peaceful demonstrators to march through London on May Day - but estimate that a hard core of 1,000 may be planning serious violence - Miss Roddick said "As probably one of the few international retailers to be baton-charged and tear-gassed by American policemen during the World Trade Organisation meeting in Seattle in November 1999, I think I'm qualified to distinguish between peaceful and violent action" - plans for action against a wide range of commercial targets including Barclays Bank, Gap, HSBC, McDonalds and the Body Shop - A spokesman for the Body Shop said yesterday that the organisation denied accusations that its employees were not allowed to join a trade union. She said: "All staff at the Body Shop are free to join whatever union they wish and as a stakeholder company we recognise external collective representation.".

Anarchists to loot Oxford Street
by Nigel Rosser
Having kicked off the 'riot planners trained in america story' the Evening Standard now swaps from police intelligence sources to 'anarchist sources' to report planned looting and multiple 'attacks' throughout london. The article also notes protestors wanting to avoid being trapped by a police SECTION 60 like last year (as any protestor would), where hundreds of people were held in Trafalgar square for many hours by riot police, and searched and photographed in what amounts to a breach of police powers under Section 60:

Mass assault and looting of prominent central London stores - plan formulated by anarchist leaders using heavily encrypted email to avoid police surveillance and GCHQ eavesdroppers - "Sale of the Century" attack will be the culmination of a day of protest designed to bring London to its knees - Anarchist sources say the protest leaders are desperate to avoid being outflanked and trapped by police as they were last year - 35 separate actions have been decided so far, from attacking branches of McDonald's to invading British Aerospace's headquarters - Companies involved in the deportation of asylum seekers, such as Group 4 Security and British Airways, have been pinpointed for the first time this year - some protesters hope to occupy the garages of MI5, although privately leaders are sceptical about the plan's viability - militant cyclists will block roads at key points, various actions by independent groups of protesters - many non-violent - will take place - students will converge on Malet Street, anti-capitalists will meet on the Strand, and homeless activists will block Park Lane and build cardboard shelters to stop traffic - At Oxford Circus, activists, using colour-coded signals, will direct protesters to the scene of the "Sale of the Century" attack.

Livingstone backs police May 1 plan
Ken Livingstone has endorsed tough police tactics to deal with potentially violent anti-capitalist protests planned for May 1 - Last year Mr Livingstone was embroiled in a public row when he was accused by his political opponents of encouraging rioting by supporting direct action, an allegation he later rejected - his statement yesterday unambiguously showed him to be sensitive to business concerns about the potential threat posed by protesters planning attacks around central London - the Corporation of London is sending out 10,000 letters to businesses and residents, underlining the need to tighten security on May 1 - policing will need to be flexible and robust," said James Hart, assistant commissioner at the City of London Police - All police leave in London has been cancelled - Special mobile units will be deployed in areas where violent protests look like developing.

May Day protest linked to US
Glasgow Herald says Scotland Yard would not specify which groups have talked to each other in what appears to be the non-story version of the same old Ruckus story:

Anarchists have been attending training camps in America, according to police intelligence - "We are well aware that there has been contact between various groups in the United States and Britain, with meetings taking place on both sides of the Atlantic," a Scotland Yard source confirmed last night - He was not prepared to identify US groups that may have been in contact with British organisations such as the Reclaim the Streets movement - However, it is known that the Californian-based Ruckus Society, which advocates a policy of civil disobedience in support of environmental and human rights causes, has been happy to pass on the lessons it learned from the anti-World Bank and International Monetary Fund riots in Seattle in 1999, and Washington last year - In the run-up to a general election, the prime minister has made it clear the last thing he wants is news programmes broadcasting pictures of rioters in London.

THE GUARDIAN / 19 Apr 2001
Not so much Red Ken as the Compromise Kid: London's mayor is more New Labour than New Labour itself
Not yet reviewed

THE MIRROR / 19 Apr 2001
Lessons in rioting
Not yet reviewed

THE STAR / Apr 19 2001
'Anita's May Day riot'
Anarchists planning May Day protests across London have been trained at action camps in the United States. Ruckus Society offers courses on "direct action" demonstrations and has training schemes on climbing buildings, monitoring police radio frequencies, knocking out video cameras and blocking roads and trains - Ms Roddick said: "All the great advances in human rights, fair trade and environmental protests have been made by ordinary citizens taking it personally and through acts of peaceful civil disobedience." - Its training techniques and volunteers played a crucial part in last year's anti-World Bank and IMF demonstrations in Seattle and Washington and the recent German protests against the transport of radioactive nuclear waste - Scotland Yard warns of 1000 hard core but police promise zero tolerance - attacks planned on target like government buildings, luxury flats, hotels, and utilities.

THE TIMES / Apr 19 2001
Roddick backs camps training protesters
Playing catch up the other media all follow through with the Celebrity angle Part II Ruckus story:

Militants planning demos have been sent for training at camps in America where they are learning how best to paralyse the city centre, disable surveillance equipment, block roads and railways and take over buildings at the California camp that is supported by one of Britain’s leading businesswoman - Anita Roddick - Three Bodyshop stores in Oxford Street will remain open - many other shops are expected to barricade their premises despite police zero tolerance assurances - A leading London hotel yesterday cancelled a conference by some of the world’s foremost drug companies planned for May 1 after threats by animal activists - The Ruckus society boasts of training hundreds of activists in "the skills of non-violent civil disobedience" - the Mayor of London yesterday warned troublemakers to stay away from the capital on May 1 or face arrest - More than £500,000 of damage was caused in ten hours of mayhem at last year’s protests.