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Protesters Square Off with Police as London Prepares for G20

Thousands of police squared off with thousands of protesters in London as the British capital prepares to host the G20 summit of the world's major economies. World leaders began arriving, as did a wide variety of protesters, intent on making their voices heard.

By midday thousands of protesters had begun to converge on parts of central London, focusing on the city's financial district, including the Bank of England and other major institutions.

Protests resemble street parties

The causes varied - from environmental groups and anti-poverty activists to anti-war advocates and anarchists.

Reporter Tom Rivers was out among the protesters and described the scene.

"The Bank of England in the center of London, the epicenter of four individual marches to this location for anti-capitalists, people who are demanding more jobs, people who are demanding action on housing, people who are demanding action on climate change - this is where they have come today," he said.

Some arrests made

As the demonstrations began they largely resembled giant street parties. But later on, scuffles broke out, protesters pelted police with eggs and other objects and they smashed windows and broke into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. There were a number of arrests.

While most of the protests were expected to be peaceful, there was concern that small groups of demonstrators could turn to violence. And, police have said they also remain alert to any possible attempts to use the protests to stage a terrorist attack.

Why are protesters so angry?

Protesters were calling this April 1 - "Financial Fools's Day." The crisis has sparked widespread public anger at bankers and traders who are generally seen as having taken reckless risks with other people's money. And, there's anger with governments for not acting quickly enough to avoid the crisis.

What to do and how to work together to get out of this recession - that is the agenda as leaders of the G20 meet here in London. A formal dinner is on for the evening and the one-day working meetings take place Thursday.