Protesters plan to pelt Thatcher’s coffin with eggs, coal or milk



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 LONDON, United Kingdom  (AFP) – London police are bracing for protests
at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, with opponents vowing to
pelt her coffin with eggs, coal or milk if…..

LONDON, United Kingdom  (AFP) – London police are bracing for
protests at Margaret Thatcher’s funeral on Wednesday, with opponents
vowing to pelt her coffin with eggs, coal or milk if they can get close
enough — or simply turn their backs on the passing procession.
More than 800 people have pledged to attend an event called
“Maggie’s good riddance party”, promising a “right jolly knees-up”
outside St Paul’s Cathedral — where 2,000 global political leaders,
celebrities and friends will be paying their respects to the former
British prime minister.

“Let the world know the hypocrisy of a state-funded funeral for the
person who influenced 30 years of cuts to state funding of welfare,”
the protest’s Facebook page reads.

“If taxpayers are funding her funeral… we can at least get our money’s worth.”

The former Conservative Party leader’s death has sparked furious
debate in Britain over her legacy — and over the decision to grant her
a state-funded ceremonial funeral, which by some estimates will cost
the taxpayer up to £10 million ($15 million, 12 million euros).

Her more radical critics, who accuse her of ruining millions of
lives with her radical free-market reforms, greeted news of her death
from a stroke last week with impromptu street parties.

Hundreds of people filled London’s Trafalgar Square on Saturday,
erected a giant effigy of her and shouted “Maggie, Maggie, Maggie!
Dead, dead, dead!”

Scotland Yard has launched a massive security operation, fearing
that protesters could attack the 1.9-kilometre (1.1 mile) route between
parliament and St Paul’s. Her coffin will be carried on a horse-drawn
gun carriage through streets lined with military personnel.

Police have repeatedly asked demonstrators to give them advance
notice of their plans, warning that anyone causing “harassment, alarm
or distress” could be arrested.

Some protesters have vowed to pelt the coffin with eggs, while
others have hinted at hurling coal — a reminder of the bitter 1984-1985
miners’ strike which Thatcher crushed, leading to the closure of dozens
of mines and tens of thousands of job losses.

“Please remember your coal to throw at the cortege, it’s what she would have wanted,” one Twitter user posted.

Former miners were among those celebrating Thatcher’s death at
Trafalgar Square on Saturday — and pubs in areas where the mines were
shut down, from Wales to northern England, are expected to do brisk
trade on Wednesday.

In London, some protesters suggested they may try to throw milk at
Thatcher’s coffin, a reference to her days as education minister when
her decision to stop free milk for older school pupils earned her the
nickname “Thatcher the milk snatcher”.

Westminster City Council has nine “flushing machines” and 40 staff
on standby to clear the streets of milk if necessary, a spokeswoman
said.

But many of Thatcher’s foes said that simply turning their backs as her coffin passes would send a more powerful message.

“If many people turn their backs it will be a deeply symbolic act,”
said Becca Blum, an environmental activist who said she had police
permission for a peaceful protest outside the Royal Courts of Justice.

“We will show the world that Britain is not all united in grief,” she wrote on her blog.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said an “appropriate” policing operation was in place for Wednesday.

She declined to say how many officers would be on the ground, adding that the force had been in contact with some protesters.

“We are hugely experienced in safely delivering high profile and
ceremonial events in the capital,” said Commander Christine Jones, who
is leading the operation.

It is yet another large-scale operation for the London force after
the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, last summer’s
Olympic Games and Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond jubilee celebrations.

St Paul’s itself is no stranger to protests. Lying at the heart of
London’s financial district, it was home to anti-capitalist “Occupy”
protesters for more than four months until their camp was evicted in
February 2012.

Shopkeepers along the funeral procession route have been told to
remove signs from the pavement, as well as any ladders or tools that
could potentially be used as weapons.

“We’re moderately concerned about it,” said Stuart Dove, manager of
George Attenborough and Son jeweller’s on Fleet Street, near the
cathedral.

“We might have to put our shutters down, depending on how big the
crowd gets. It’s a bit annoying for business, but I think it’s
important that London marks the occasion,” he told AFP.

– Vanguard Nigeria

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