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UK police preparing to face a "summer of rage"

LONDON, Feb 23 (KUNA) -- British police are preparing to face a "summer of rage" in the UK as people join protests over the economic downturn, a senior Metrolpolitan Police officer said Monday.
"Known activists" were likely to foment unrest, with the recession creating more "footsoldiers" to join them, Superintendent David Hartshorn told The Guardian newspaper today.
The G20 meeting of leading and developing nations in London in April is expected to be a focus of protests.
Supt. Hartshorn heads Scotland Yard's public order branch.
He is regularly briefed on potential civil unrest.
The officer said that the established activists "would be good at motivating people, but they haven't had the 'footsoldiers' to actually carry out protests.
"Obviously the downturn in the economy, unemployment, repossessions, changes that. Suddenly there is the opportunity for people to mass protest", he said.
"We've got G20 coming and I think that is being advertised on some of the sites as the highlight of what they see as a 'summer of rage'." The banks, particularly those that paid large bonuses despite receiving billions of pounds of taxpayers' money, had become "viable targets", Supt Hartshorn added.
The year has already seen wildcat (unofficial) strikes across the UK in sympathy with British workers protesting at the use of foreign labour at Lindsey Oil Refinery, the senior police officer warned.
Last Saturday, about 100,000 joined a march in Dublin, Ireland, to protest about the Irish Government's handling of the country's recession.
Greece, France and Iceland have also seen protests over the economic crisis. (end) he.tg KUNA 231449 Feb 09NNNN