`Occupy` activists storm Xstrata London HQ

Activists from the Occupy London anti-capitalist movement stormed a building housing the mining giant Xstrata, targeting its chief executive.

Last Updated: Dec 01, 2011, 12:41 PM IST

London: Activists from the Occupy London
anti-capitalist movement stormed a building housing the mining
giant Xstrata, targeting its chief executive.

About 60 protesters got inside Panton House yesterday,
Occupy London Stock Exchange (OLSX) said, where the
diversified Anglo-Swiss firm has its British office.

Another 200 were held outside within a police cordon, in
the heart of central London`s West End entertainment district.
Some covered their faces with masks as they swept through
the building. The protesters reached the roof and unveiled a
banner reading "All power to the 99 per cent".

In the street, one man with a hooded top, his face
masked, waved a flare around.

"21 arrests have been made for the unauthorised entry
into Panton House for a variety of offences including
burglary, aggravated trespass, criminal damage and assault on
police," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

OLSX have been camped outside St Paul`s Cathedral in
London`s financial district since October 15, as part of a
global wave of anti-capitalist protests.

They said they targeted Xstrata yesterday because they
claimed it had the highest-paid chief executive of a FTSE 100
share index company over the last year.

"CEOs like Mick Davies lavishly secure their own futures
while ignoring the security and wellbeing of their own
workers," the movement said on its webpage.

The protesters had marched the short distance from
Picadilly Circus, led by a samba band, chanting against
corporate greed, OLSX said.

"Xstrata confirms that a number of protesters have
attempted to enter the company`s offices in central London," a
spokeswoman said.

"All executive pay is approved by the company`s
shareholders and is linked to company and individual
performance," she added.

"Last year Xstrata delivered its second best financial
performance since inception, with an 86 per cent increase in
profits, record cost savings, improved safety performance and
total shareholder returns substantially greater than the FTSE
100 average."

Those being held in the area outside were told via a
police megaphone: "You are being contained because we fear an
imminent breach of the peace will occur. You will be released
as soon as possible."

The OLSX protesters are inspired by the Occupy Wall
Street demonstrators in New York and other cities around the
world.

Earlier yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, police
arrested more than 200 anti-Wall Street protesters in a raid
that cleared out hundreds of people from the two-month old
encampment there.

PTI