Britain faces summer of rage – police

Ladies and gentlemen that is you and me. Nice middle-class citizens no known for their aggressive ways all of a sudden coming out of their nice middle class houses to riot in the street. You think this will only happen in the UK?

Middle-class anger at economic crisis could erupt into violence on streets

Protestors clash with mounted riot police outside the Israeli embassy in London

Protesters clash with police in London in January over Israel’s action in Gaza. Such scenes could become more common sights in the UK. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Police are preparing for a “summer of rage” as victims of the economic downturn take to the streets to demonstrate against financial institutions, the Guardian has learned.

Britain’s most senior police officer with responsibility for public order raised the spectre of a return of the riots of the 1980s, with people who have lost their jobs, homes or savings becoming “footsoldiers” in a wave of potentially violent mass protests.

Superintendent David Hartshorn, who heads the Metropolitan police’s public order branch, told the Guardian that middle-class individuals who would never have considered joining demonstrations may now seek to vent their anger through protests this year.

He said that banks, particularly those that still pay large bonuses despite receiving billions in taxpayer money, had become “viable targets”. So too had the headquarters of multinational companies and other financial institutions in the City which are being blamed for the financial crisis.

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