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Scotland Yard on standby over anti-G8 protests

A day after 57 protesters were arrested, Scotland Yard officers were put on standby to respond to protests ahead of the G8 summit.

London: A day after 57 anti-G8 protesters were arrested, Scotland Yard officers were put on standby to respond to protests here ahead of the summit of the world`s eight wealthiest countries in Northern Ireland next week.

The StopG8 group has declared a week of action or "Carnival Against Capitalism" before the summit of world leaders.

"Officers will be deployed at key locations and also act as a flexible reserve across London that can be quickly moved to respond to any incidents," a Metropolitan police statement said.

A total of 57 people were arrested yesterday after police raided disused buildings occupied by protesters and marshalled demonstrations in the West End.

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

Yesterday, police forced their way into a former police building on 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.

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.

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

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

The Metropolitan police said officers had been working with the City of London Police and British Transport Police and 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, Northern Ireland, for the two-day G8 conference next week.


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