London

G8 protests: Latest demonstration ends with no arrests

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Media captionMike Sergeant reports on the stand-off in Beak Street, where officers stormed a former police station

The latest protest by people demonstrating ahead of the G8 summit has ended with no arrests.

About 30 people marched through central London where part of their protest included a demonstration outside a private military company.

The Metropolitan Police said no arrests had been made.

On Tuesday, 56 people were arrested during a day which saw police raid disused buildings occupied by protesters in Soho.

'Right to protest'

The StopG8 group said on Monday it planned a week of action, or "Carnival Against Capitalism", before the summit of world leaders in Northern Ireland next week.

Earlier on Wednesday, Scotland Yard said officers would be deployed at key locations to respond to any incidents.

Image caption Groups have already protested outside military company BAE

The police added they had asked protesters to contact them and work with them, but to no avail.

Ed Argar, from Westminster City Council, said: "Yesterday's events demonstrate that, as ever, there were a small number of people intent on turning a legitimate protest into confrontation.

"We fully support the right to legitimate protest, but that is not a licence to disrupt the daily lives of residents, visitors and businesses, or the right to break the law."

Campaign group Disarm DSEi said it was calling on "anti-militarists" to target companies that "seek profit in situations of military conflict".

On Tuesday, police forced their way into a former police building in Beak Street, Soho, which was occupied by protesters.

Officers said they had used a search warrant because they believed people there had weapons and were intent on causing criminal damage.

One man was tackled by police as he tried to jump from the roof of the building, saying "I don't want to live in a fascist state", reported the BBC's Mike Sergeant.

'Most brutal'

Arrests were made for alleged possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage, assault on a police officer, failure to remove a face covering, and possession of articles with intent to commit criminal damage.

So far nine people have been charged and 15 have been released without further action.

A building in Norton Folgate, east London, was also raided following reports of criminal damage, said police.

Later, there were scuffles between officers and protesters in Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly and St James Square.

StopG8 said many of the world's "most brutal and polluting companies" were in London's West End, as well as government offices and the "mega rich".

The Met said officers had been working with the City of London Police and British Transport Police. A spokesman said businesses in central London and the City had been warned about possible protests.

The leaders of the world's eight wealthiest countries are due to meet at the Lough Erne resort in Co Fermanagh for the two-day G8 conference next week.

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