G20 protests in central London have turned violent ahead of tomorrow’s summit, with a hardcore band of demonstrators close to the Bank of England storming a Royal Bank of Scotland branch, smashing its windows and wrecking the interior.
Riot police are struggling to remove the 20 protesters, some of whom have emerged from the ruined building holding aloft computers, telephones and files.
Although the demonstrations began peacefully, bloody skirmishes have erupted as police try to keep thousands of people in containment pens on Threadneedle street.
Protesters targeted RBS, which is at the centre of a row over £703,000-a-year pension payments to Sir Fred Goodwin, the disgraced former chief executive.
Earlier, Gordon Brown met Barack Obama in Downing Street and later announced that the G20 leaders were “within a few hours” of agreeing a global deal for economic recovery.
By midday, around 60 protesters and police were involved in scuffles, which saw officers pelted with bottles, eggs, fruit and paint. Some officers also had their helmets ripped from their heads and thrown into the air, which was turned pink and red as protesters let off smoke bombs. Police responded by using truncheons, batons and pepper spray.