Scotland Yard: “Summer of Rage”…or not

Recent comments by police describing an alleged Summer of Rage have been doing the rounds of various news outlets. The following comes from Reuters:

Police said on Monday a summit of the world’s largest economies in London in April could set off mass protests aggravated by the global economic crisis.

Anti-globalisation protesters, environmental activists and anti-war demonstrators are planning a series of events in the run-up to and during the G20 summit of world leaders opening on April 2 to discuss the global financial downturn.

“We’ve got G20 coming and I think that is being advertised on some of the (Web) sites as the highlight of what they see as a ‘summer of rage’,” Superintendent David Hartshorn, head of London’s public order policing branch, said.

Yet the same article quotes Scotland Yard:

Scotland Yard said there was no intelligence to suggest a “wave of potentially violent mass protests” or a return to riots that hit cities during economic downturns of the 1980s.

“What police do believe is that there has been a re-emergence of some known activists who may attempt to once again become part of the protest scene in London,” a police spokesman said.

“Plus with environmental and economic issues affecting more people, this may broaden the appeal of demonstration.”

Demonstrations are due to kick off on March 28 with a “Put People First” march through London coordinated by unions, charities and anti-poverty campaigns.

So…this Summer of Rage will not, according to Scotland Yard, be a summer of violence so much as a summer of lots of protests. Yet this is apparently worth scaremongering over.

Le sigh…

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