Tension high as G20 looms

By Ian Dunt

London is braced for chaos over the coming week as both official and non-official political manoeuvres take place ahead of the G20 summit.

Protests and demonstrations – many of them expected to be violent – will take place throughout London, while world leaders try to paper over their differences.

Protests begin on Wednesday with a huge anti-banker demonstration outside the Bank of England. That takes place at noon, but marches begin from four separate spots at 11:00 GMT.

In Grosvenor Square, anti-war demonstrators will protest outside the American embassy, while environmental activists will go to the Excel Centre a day ahead of delegates to campaign against climate change.

On Thursday, world leaders will arrive at the centre, while Anarchists arrive at the east London area to try to ‘knock on the doors’ of the centre. Riot police are expected to prevent them from doing so.

The summit also marks the culmination of months of preparation by Downing Street, although ministers have dampened expectations of a further fiscal stimulus, despite Gordon Brown’s high-end rhetoric earlier in the year.

A strange and unpredictable coalition of chancellor Alistair Darling, Bank of England governor Mervyn King and German chancellor Angela Merkel, appears to have forced those keener of a stimulus – such as Mr Brown and American president Barack Obama – to back down.

President Obama will be spending time with the Queen and Gordon Brown, while also having a half-hour meeting with Tory leader David Cameron – the only opposition leader he will meet this trip.