G20 update: Obama meets Brown and local life changes for two days...
The US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have begun their discussions over breakfast ahead of the G20 Summit in Newham tomorrow.
The US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have begun their discussions over breakfast ahead of the G20 Summit in Newham tomorrow.Hundreds of groups will join the G20 protests over the next two days.
Meanwhile life in Newham was relatively normal this morning. Parts of the City and East London are expected to be gridlocked today and tomorrow as protestors vent their fury at financial institutions and the G20 summit.
Amid fears that demonstrations could turn violent, an academic at the heart of protest preparations has been suspended for allegedly threatening violence against the police.
Many demonstrators will target Liverpool Street, Moorgate and London Bridge today, while others are planning to "bang on the doors" of the ExCeL exhibition centre as the summit gets under way tomorrow to deliver their demand for a world without capitalism.
Hundreds of delegates from the world's 20 largest economies will attend the summit, which also provides the occasion for US President Barack Obama's first visit to Britain. The police are mounting a huge operation involving thousands of officers to ensure the gathering runs smoothly.
Today, residents and others in the affected area will need two forms of identification - one with a photograph and the other with a link to the bearer's business or residence.
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Tomorrow, Custom House, Prince Regent and Royal Victoria DLR stations will be closed. The Connaught Bridge will be closed to traffic from 6am until midnight, as will the footbridge from ExCeL to Britannia Village both today and tomorrow.
Police are urging people to avoid using their cars and to expect delays if they do take to their vehicles.
Anthropologist Prof Chris Knight was suspended by the University of East London for "inciting violence" in the run-up to the summit.
He joined tens of thousands who took to the streets of central London on Saturday to call for action on poverty, climate change and employment.
The university suspended Prof Knight on full pay pending an inquiry into his behaviour after he said: "We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred [former Royal Bank of Scotland boss Sir Fred Goodwin] from lampposts on April Fool's Day, and I can only say let's hope they are just effigies.
"If he winds us up any more I'm afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts and let's hope that that doesn't actually have to happen.
"[Bankers] should realise the amount of fury and hatred there is for them and act quickly, because quite honestly if it isn't humour it is going to be anger."
He also reportedly said: "The message to police is 'if you press your nuclear button, I'll press mine'. It sounds like a threat? Well, yeah - don't do it.
If you want violence, you'll get it."
University bosses told him his comments were "inciting criminal action, specifically violence against policemen and women and damage to banking institutions".
The 66-year-old is said to be behind the G20 Meltdown and Financial Fools Day protests being planned under the banner of The Government of the Dead.
A university spokesman said: "Prof Chris Knight has been suspended from his duties at the University of East London pending investigation. In order not to prejudice this process we cannot make any further comment." Prof Knight was unavailable for comment about his suspension.
Police have warned that known activists are planning actions in an "unprecedented" way and that groups active in the late 1990s are re-emerging and forming new alliances.
Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick, who is MP for Poplar and Canning Town, said: "Sadly, because here in East London we expect to experience massive disruption to our transport systems and our lives this week, the basic message from the conference may easily be lost.