Saturday, February 19, 2005
Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders
Times Online - Britain: "Greenpeace had hoped to paralyse oil trading at the exchange in the City near Tower Bridge on the day that the Kyoto Protocol came into force. “The Kyoto Protocol has modest aims to improve the climate and we need huge aims,” a spokesman said.
Protesters conceded that mounting the operation after lunch may not have been the best plan. “The violence was instant,” Jon Beresford, 39, an electrical engineer from Nottingham, said.
“They grabbed us and started kicking and punching. Then when we were on the floor they tried to push huge filing cabinets on top of us to crush us.” When a trader left the building shortly before 2pm, using a security swipe card, a protester dropped some coins on the floor and, as he bent down to pick them up, put his boot in the door to keep it open.
Two minutes later, three Greenpeace vans pulled up and another 30 protesters leapt out and were let in by the others.
They made their way to the trading floor, blowing whistles and sounding fog horns, encountering little resistance from security guards. Rape alarms were tied to helium balloons to float to the ceiling and create noise out of reach. The IPE conducts “open outcry” trading where deals are shouted across the pit. By making so much noise, the protesters hoped to paralyse trading.
But they were set upon by traders, most of whom were under the age of 25. “They were kicking and punching men and women indiscriminately,” a photographer said. “It was really ugly, but Greenpeace did not fight back.”
Mr Beresford said: “They followed the guys into the lobby and kept kicking and punching them there. They literally kicked them on to the pavement.”
Last night Greenpeace said two protesters were in hospital, one with a suspected broken jaw, the other with concussion.
A spokeswoman from IPE said the trading floor reopened at 3.10pm. “The floor was invaded by a small group of protesters,” she said. “Open outcry trading was suspended but electronic trading carried on.”"
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