London Police Clash With RTS Protesters: What are `Crusties'?

Tom Boland (
Mon, 21 Jun 1999 05:19:48 -0700 (PDT)

INFO REQUEST [Please forward to appropriate lists, groups and persons]

Can anyone supply information or point me to Net links about "CRUSTIES" in
the UK or elsewhere?

"Many of the London protesters were `crusties' -- the nickname for a
certain type of activist campaigning for issues like animal rights and the
-- from article below
FWD  Reuters - June 18, 1999


By Alexander Smith

LONDON (Reuters) - At least one person was hurt in London's financial
district Friday when anti-capitalist demonstrators threw missiles at police
and pushed their way into one of the major financial exchanges.

For much of the day the violence had been sporadic, but at around 5 p.m.
police charged demonstrators in a narrow street close to the Bank of
England, triggering a hail of bricks and stones.

The only person reported injured through the day was a young woman who had
been jumping on top of a police van when it suddenly drove off under a rain
of missiles.

A police spokesman said she was caught under the wheels and had been taken
to hospital with concussion. Eyewitnesses had originally said the victim
was a man.

Some protesters managed to get into the LIFFE derivatives exchange, which
decided to evacuate the building after normal trading ended at 4:15 p.m.
Electronic trading however was cut off early.

Assistant Commissioner James Hart, in charge of policing the demonstration,
said it was clear some demonstrators had been out to create ``havoc and
mayhem'' in central London.

``What they have done is systematically attack the police most of the
afternoon, turning their attention on members of the public and on city
buildings as they've seen fit,'' he told BBC radio.

The demonstration against capitalism began peacefully as 3,000 protesters
-- some of them drinking heavily -- gathered around London's Liverpool
Street for what the organizers had billed as a carnival.

Similar demonstrations had been planned for other major world cities, all
timed to coincide with the summit in Cologne, Germany, of the world's
richest nations.

Later in the day a line of riot police started to push the protesters away
from the buildings they had been surrounding in the City, Europe's biggest
financial center. Some responded by throwing fruit and beer cans at the

Supporters of everything from Third World debt relief to cycle lanes waved
banners with slogans such as ``Money Kills'' and ``We Reclaim The Planet.''

They staged peaceful sit-ins outside the Bank of England and the Treasury
(finance ministry). Outside the Bank, someone had put up a large sign which
read ``Greed Breeds Mean Deeds.''

A group of some 300 cyclists pedaled slowly, bringing traffic to a halt in
the tight network of streets.

Many of the London protesters were ``crusties'' -- the nickname for a
certain type of activist campaigning for issues like animal rights and the

They failed to win many new recruits to the cause in the City, where banks
and brokerages had warned workers to keep alert and ``dress down.''

``Why don't you turn your engine off?'' one cyclist urged a taxi-driver
stuck in a monster jam on Cannon Street.

``Because I want to fumigate you,'' he shouted back.

A retired City worker was more disparaging.

``They all live in trees and swamps,'' he said.


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