Eleven anti-capitalist protesters were arrested this weekend in central London amid allegations of heavy-handed policing after a rally through the capital.
Around 300 members of the Occupy movement gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday before embarking on a “visiting the 1 per cent” march targeting the offices of some of the largest banking institutions, including Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, RBS and Santander.
A number of tents were erected outside the bank of England during the protest, part of a global day of action which saw similar events take place in cities including Moscow, New York, Athens and Madrid.
Occupy London supporter David Lincoln said: “The Bank of England stands right at the intersection of finance and government.
“In the light of Bank governor Mervyn King’s recent comments about ‘vested interests’ standing in the way of reform of the financial sector, it is clear that that balance in the UK is fundamentally skewed.
“Hundreds of people gathering by the Bank of England is a powerful symbol of how things have to change.”
A spokesman for City of London Police said protesters had been given a deadline of 5.45pm to leave the area outside the Bank of England but a handful had remained in defiance of the order.
A force spokesman said: “We have a proportionate response in place.”
But Occupy claimed some police officers used “unreasonable force, including batons being drawn,” as they marched around the City.
The protesters were joined by members of Spanish group “Los Indignados” which was marking its first anniversary with the occupation of Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol square.
In February, police and bailiffs evicted Occupy London protesters from the tent city they had set up around St Paul’s Cathedral after they lost a High Court case against the City of London Corporation.
Earlier this month police arrested five people after protesters set up a temporary camp outside the London Stock Exchange
Between 50 and 100 activists moved into Paternoster Square with tents and supplies on May 1, but were forced to leave by officers several hours later.
Occupy said it will stage another protest tomorrow which will target the British Bankers’ Association.
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