The World's Laura Lynch reports from London where thousands of protesters are clogging the streets and clashing with police ahead of tomorrow's G20 summit of world leaders.
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LISA MULLINS: I'm Lisa Mullins and this is The World. Leaders around the globe have gathered in London for tomorrow's summit of the G20. They face heavy pressure to produce a morale-boosting response to the economic downturn. The talk started even before the summit gets under way. President Obama met separately today with his counterparts in China and in Russia. Meanwhile, thousands of protests gathered in London's financial district. There were clashes as a small group broke into the Royal Bank of Scotland. But as The World's Laura Lynch reports most were there to put their message across peacefully.
LAURA LYNCH: At the beginning, it sounded more like a party than a protest.
The crowds rolled into the heart of banking territory armed with drums, whistles and even an effigy of a banker in bowler hat. Coming out to protest made perfect sense for Polly Cole. She's got time on her hands and anger to burn.
POLLY COLE: I've just finished an MA and I've been trying to find a job for the last six months and I'm completely qualified, I've got experience and I've been applying for, like, thirty jobs a week and I've been unemployed for a long time and I'm finding it really difficult to get a job
LAURA LYNCH: Cole and her boyfriend, Gareth Williams have little faith that the G20 meeting will make any difference.
GARETH WILLIAMS: Well that doesn't mean anything; it's like a little tea party. It doesn't mean anything. The only thing that means anything is actual action of some kind.
LAURA LYNCH: Worried about the potential for violence, Scotland Yard mounted a huge security operation. Hundreds of police moved in and around the protestors, eventually forming a cordon. The strategy quickly became clear - block anyone else from joining in.
Hundreds tried - and were turned away.
MAN: I thought this was a free country we lived in.
POLICE: You can't get through at the moment sir.
MAN: So democracy is an illusion.
POLICE: That's not the case you just can't get through here at the moment sir, that's all.
LAURA LYNCH: Roger Pead ended up on the outside looking in - frustrated that he couldn't show his solidarity.
ROGER PEAD: I think there's some serious errors been made by our government; the people that purport to run this country govern our country. And, frankly they've messed up. A very small section of the community has taken an enormously large sum of money for themselves.
LAURA LYNCH: But the peaceful protest didn't stay that way. A group wearing balaclavas broke into the Royal Bank of Scotland, using computer keyboards to smash windows. There were clashes and arrests as the riot squad moved in. Most of the banks in the area had closed for the day, anticipating trouble. And police advised people working in the area to dress down to avoid attracting attention. Andrew Yarwood ignored that - showing up to watch in a dark suit and tie.
ANDREW YARWOOD: On a point of principle I think it's their right to be able to protest. It's also my right to be able to go to work in a suit. I don't think either of us should be impeded. If I'd had the opportunity, I would have bought a bowler hat and a rolled umbrella.
LAURA LYNCH: Some bankers reportedly taunted the demonstrators by waving ten pound notes from windows high above the street.
Yarwood called that unprofessional and part of the reason the industry is in such trouble. But he also thinks the protestors are going overboard.
ANDREW YARWOOD: I mean I think there's a lot of people there with some quite genuine views about climate change and concerns about the economy. But a fair slice of that lot will be the same old things: anti capitalist, anarchists, spoiling for a fight. I'm not quite sure what Tibet's got to do with it; there's an awful lot of Tibet flags.
CROWD: Justice now.
LAURA LYNCH: The protests today were small in comparison with past summits where tens of thousands turned out. But that didn't matter to businesses that boarded up their windows or to bankers who opted to stay home. They believe there is a deep well of anger and resentment - and a potential for more violence when the protests start again tomorrow. For the World, I'm Laura Lynch, in London.