October 17, 2004

G8 protesters face travel ban

ANARCHISTS planning violent protests to disrupt next year’s G8 summit in Scotland could be banned from travelling to the event.

Security experts and intelligence officers from the eight countries represented at the summit are to meet at a secret location in Scotland early next year to draw up a list of troublemakers.

More than 30 activists from America and Europe are likely to be issued with banning orders excluding them from the event at the Gleneagles hotel in Auchterarder, Perthshire.

The orders would prevent them leaving their own country before the summit in July. They could also be turned away from Britain in the weeks leading up to the meeting.

Thousands of anarchists and anti-globalisation protesters are expected to flock to the summit, which will be attended by leaders from America, Britain, Canada, Japan, Russia, France, Germany and Italy.

Armed forces and secret service personnel from all eight countries will join thousands of police from Scotland and England to guard the 850-acre site.

Police want to avoid a repeat of the riot at the G8 summit in Genoa in 2001, which led to the killing of one protester by an armed policeman.

“The G8 summit is an international event and as such the security operation has an international perspective,” said Chief Superintendent Brian Powrie of Tayside police, who is in charge of the G8 policing operation.

“By bringing together security personnel from the G8 nations and the rest of Europe we can look at ways of maximising intelligence to best advantage. It’s clear from previous summits that certain individuals will travel from the UK and abroad to cause damage and violence.

“We are exploring ways of ensuring that the majority who wish to protest lawfully and peacefully, and everyone else going about their daily lives, can do so without these people gate-crashing the event.”

Last week plans to exclude known troublemakers were welcomed by residents in Auchterarder, who admitted that their main concern was the potential trouble that demonstrators could cause.

“The police are making a good effort to communicate with us,” said Peter Everett, chairman of the community council. “It’s encouraging news and sounds a very good idea to stop known troublemakers getting here. Locals are not concerned about the world leaders or the media coming but the yobs and demonstrators.”

This weekend activists from around the world gathered in London for the European Social Forum to discuss global issues such as war, racism, corporate power, workers’ rights and a sustainable society.

More than 20,000 people were expected to attend the event at Alexandra Palace in north London in what was seen as the launch of the anti-G8 campaign.

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