Traffic was bought to a standstill this morning on the A315 outside the Albert Hall, as a group of protestors started a vigil in the centre of the road. Live! arrived at the scene, to find around 30 people sitting cross legged in the centre of the road, chanting anti- capitalist and anti-war slogans, and holding up a huge model of Henry Kissinger.
Not long after this reporter’s arrival at the scene the police decided that enough disruption had been done to traffic, and called in reinforcements to help them clear the protestors away. With around 100 police officers, police dogs and horses they eventually managed to move the protestors, sometimes having to drag them kicking and screaming onto the adjacent pavement.
The crowd’s leaflets and banners were then removed by police, along with their model of Kissinger, and they were moved into an enclosure at the side of the road where they could protest peacefully without causing chaos to traffic. The protestors’ action has only added to the traffic chaos already caused in the area by the temporary closure of the road to the north of Prince’s Gardens for building work.
The arrival of Kissinger at the Albert Hall has also caused headaches for Imperial College Security. Signs are displayed all over Beit quad informing students that they must have a college swipe card in their possession to enter the building. However a member of the Live! reporting team found that there was in fact nobody checking ID cards on the front gate at Beit.
The protest is set to continue all day, and has been organised by the Globalise Resistance group. Police presence remains high around the Prince Consort Road and Kensington Gore area this afternoon, with the possibility of more protestors arriving throughout the day.