Thousands of protesters clogged the streets of London's financial district on Wednesday. Hundreds of them battled with riot police in a brief but brutal spasm of violence, ending with 23 of them were arrested.
There are about 4000 protesters including students, academics, anarchists and anti-capitalists, with breaking into the Royal Bank of Scotland through smashed windows.
“I am against any money-grabbers and capitalists who are not prepared to fight for the little people; we are the backbone of this country”, said a 24-year-old student Kim Winter.
The demonstrators banishing signs reading Financial Fool's Day, or Abolish Money” threw eggs and fruits at riot police. The violence took place between two major banks, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Bank of England.
The demonstration began as a peaceful march, but later developed into an ugly battle between demonstrators and 40-50 riot police officers on foot and horseback.
Two windows in the RBS building were smashed and masked youths made off with computers that were ripped by people in the crowd.
Protestors focused the RBS because it was bailed out by the British government after a series of disastrous deals brought it to the brink of bankruptcy, all though CEO Fred Goodwin managed to get an annual pension of $1.2 million.
The police are defending the very people they should be fighting with -- the bankers,” said student Liam Edin.
Most of the demonstrators intended their protest to remain peaceful.
The G20 summit will begin on Thursday, with world leaders hoping to take concrete steps to resolve the global financial crisis that has lashed nations and workers worldwide.