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Mayday 01 corporate media coverage (18Apr)

indymedia | 18.04.2001 22:00 | May Day 2001

Mainstream coverage of Mayday 2001 (18 Apr articles).

18 Apr 2001

BBC / Apr 18 2001
Stay away on May Day - Livingstone
'Red' Ken's thorough attack on mayday is of course immediatly reproduced in yet another round of stories about planned violence:

Ken Livingstone backs MET plans to take tough action - anyone whose intention it is to engage in criminal activities should be arrested - people who came with the intention of engaging in criminal activity should be arrested and charged without unnecessary delay - any violence at the protests would not be "incidental" - Mr Livingstone's strong condemnation is being contrasted to his stance last year when he told an interviewer that he had always backed "direct action" - Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens believes that this year some anarchist groups are using the internet to plot their campaign.

MAY DAY RIOTERS TRAIN AT U.S. CAMPS and leader No more castles in the air
Not yet reviewed

EXCITE / REUTERS / Apr 18 2001
London mayor calls for tough stance on anarchists
LONDON (Reuters)
Ken provides the celebrity spice for Reuters to pick up on and syndicate throughout the world... Quite where Reuters heard that demonstrators had announced they were planning widespread violence is anyones guess!:

London mayor Ken Livingstone has called for a tough stance to be taken against any violent anarchists - he recognised the need to discuss anti-capitalist issues but questioned the use of violence by protesters - "Anti-capitalist demonstrators have announced they are planning widespread violence on the streets of London in next month's protests" - unidentified troublemakers are hell-bent on repeating the violence that erupted during last year's protests - Police say they will adopt a "zero tolerance" approach

THE GUARDIAN / Apr 18 2001
May Day protestors accuse police of using propaganda
By Matthew Tempest, political correspondent
The media hysteria around mayday finally becomes a story in itself but is drowned out by the wholesale condemnation of the protests by Ken Livingstone:

Organisers of the forthcoming anti-capitalism protests in London dub reports of planned violence as "Met police propaganda". "The police know it's a quiet time at Easter for the media, and so are getting their defences in first. "It was exactly the same last year, when the 'guerilla gardening' May Day protest was planned. The police told everyone the protestors were using the idea of planting trees in the road as a cover, and would come with pitchforks and spades. That didn't happen.

"The police spent millions of pounds and months of planning on the operation - and yet conveniently 'forgot' to close the McDonalds on Whitehall, right in the centre of the demonstration against capitalism, which was inevitably going to be a target. "They have to justify their budgets and manpower, so it was very helpful for them that after eight peaceful hours somebody went and graffitied the cenotaph - it justified all their work." "More than 5,000 people turned up for that demonstration, it went on all day, and about 20 people turned nasty and violent - and even that was only after riot police sealed off Parliament Square and refused to let anybody in or out."

Since last year, the police now have the power under the Terrorism Act 2000 to force peaceful protestors to remove scarves or balaclavas hiding their faces. Last year's demonstrations in Parliament Square and Trafalgar Square turned ugly after several hours of peaceful protest in the centre of Whitehall, which saw sods of grass planted on tarmac roads and cannabis seeds planted in flower beds across from the House of Commons.

THE GUARDIAN / Apr 18 2001
Radio: Rod Liddle's diary: We're out to get you
Not yet reviewed

Message to all protesters: don't support the May Day action
'The problem with next month's May Day Monopoly protests is that violence is not incidental' - Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingston firmly condems the mayday protests before they even happen, calling for people not to attend the demonstrations, accusing the 'organisers' of being elitist and declaring the use of masks and white overalls as a tactic designed to minimise "participation from ordinary people". He goes on to say he has been well briefed on the protests, which means he must know about the multitude of peaceful demonstrations, actions, stunts and pickets planned throughout the day (which the majority of the media have so far chosen to ignore and are only now begining to mention), but which he has obviously chosen to ignore, choosing instead to place himself firmly within the hysteria created by the police and media - highlights:

But I want to urge everyone who has the slightest sympathy with any of the stated objectives of the May Day Monopoly protesters not to attend this action on 1 May - the organisers do not wish to convince the public of their objectives - MayDay Monopoly has nothing to do with the mass demonstrations organised by the Anti-Apartheid Movement, CND or the Committee to Stop War in the Gulf - This kind of activity should be contrasted with the years of genuinely effective demonstrations - the protesters' chosen image of masks and uniforms of boiler suits padded to protect them from the police is both provocative and deliberately designed to minimise participation from ordinary people - stickers produced are clearly aimed at smashing in shop fronts, as are the parts of the May Day Monopoly website - hostility of organisers to the organised labour movement implies that they are unlikely to be worried by the concerns of shop workers about the targeting of their workplaces. I know from my own experience last year that these protests are a tool against those who support peaceful protest or oppose Third World debt - The secretive organisation of the May Day Monopoly protesters is a perfect example of élitism - If the protesters' objectives are so benign, why do they hide behind masks?

I have met the Commissioner of the Police for a full briefing - I have asked the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to ensure London is safe on May Day. Anyone whose intention it is to engage in criminal activities should be arrested and charged without prevarication or unnecessary delay. London should not have to tolerate any violence or abuse towards its citizens. That is why last week I called for the fascist National Front to be banned from marching through Bermondsey. On my inauguration last year, I said that my administration will be as intolerant of the racist police officer as it will of the anarchist who chooses to desecrate the Cenotaph.

My message is clear ­ don't attend the May Day Monopoly actions.

THE MIRROR / 18 Apr 2001
Sue Carroll's column: SCARED TACTICS
Not yet reviewed