Anti-G8 protests aim for London's Canary Wharf banking district

LONDON Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:04pm EDT

Demonstrators protesting against the upcoming G8 summit, being held near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, hold a banner as they walk to BAE systems headquarters in central London, June 12, 2013. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Demonstrators protesting against the upcoming G8 summit, being held near Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, hold a banner as they walk to BAE systems headquarters in central London, June 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Olivia Harris

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LONDON (Reuters) - Activists plan a show of "civil disobedience" in the heart of London's Canary Wharf financial district on Friday to protest against capitalism ahead of next week's G8 summit which Britain is hosting.

Environmentalists, poverty campaigners and opponents of the British government's austerity measures will join under the banner "They Owe Us" in a demonstration at Canary Wharf, home to major banks such as Barclays and JP Morgan, as well as other financial powerhouses.

"The businesses and banks of Canary Wharf are deciding on, funding and profiting from projects that created the economic crisis and the climate crisis," Emma Wilding, from They Owe Us, said in a statement.

"We have come to this pinnacle of capitalism to resist and challenge this because this is where the decisions are made that ruin our lives."

Canary Wharf, whose glass skyscrapers housing offices and shops now dominate the formerly derelict dock area in east London, is a privately-owned estate and security is usually tight.

HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are among companies who have offices there.

Several protests have taken place in London in advance of next week's summit of leaders from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in Northern Ireland, but they have, so far, not been on the scale seen at previous gatherings.

On Tuesday, British riot police clashed with around 200 anti-capitalists during a day of cat-and-mouse chases through central London which brought traffic to a standstill on some of London's busiest shopping streets.

Almost 60 arrests were made.

But officers have outnumbered protesters at all their events this week. They Owe Us said it expected "a wide range of people including children and elderly activists to participate".

In 2011, anarchists attacked banks and luxury stores in central London following a large union-led protest against government spending cuts.

And in 2009, police made more than 100 arrests after demonstrations by tens of thousands of people to coincide with a G20 economic summit in London turned violent.

(Editing by Mike Collett-White)

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