The four twitterers of the apocalypse

A crack squad of spiked writers twittered live from the end-is-nigh protests against the G20 in London on Wednesday.


Topics Politics

The spiked editorial team twittered live from the G20 protests against war, financial crimes and climate chaos. The march started with the four ‘horsemen of the apocalypse’ (which says it all, really) marching from different parts of London towards the Bank of England.

Brendan O’Neill followed the ‘horse against climate chaos’; Rob Lyons followed the ‘horse against financial crimes’; Nathalie Rothschild followed the ‘horse against war’; and Tim Black followed the ‘horse against land enclosures and borders’.

Here’s the day’s events from the perspective of spiked writers, as they happened.

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Some City workers are threatening to fight back. “We’re no pansies.”

This week China was slated for its cyber-spying, yet Brit police can spy on protesters without raising an eyebrow. more…

Jamie is cooking lunch for the world leaders. Lets hope they enjoy it more than the kids who reject his school dinners.

Given the very detailed arrangements printed in every newspaper, is the media helping to create this event?

Even CNN is describing today’s expected protests as “unprecedented”. The death of historical perspective? more…

The most striking thing about the protests so far is the elite’s fear of them. It’s an “invitation to riot”. more…

The open borders network is participating today. spiked’s campaign for free movement is here more…

The Obamas were greeted like celebs in London. But does this trip mark the end of the President’s honeymoon period?

The Sun is now demonising anti-banker “thugs”… the same Sun that led the witch hunt against Fred Goodwin.

A journalist’s dilemma: is it safe to drink a Starbucks on a march against capitalism and bad things in general?


A hundred or so protesters, looking very Autumnal, loiter at Cannon Street. The boys in, er, fluorescent yellow are currently adding the only colour.

Crowds building at London Bridge. Still quite quiet.

The lead banner at Liverpool St says “CONSUMERS SUCK”. Charming.

The climate protesters are yelping with glee – a policeman fell over. Is this the revolution at last?

Lots of milling around and photographing of anyone looking quirky.

At Moorgate, dozens of cops are watching a handful of confused people. looking for the protest.

The Cannon Street protesters run off in different directions only to be pursued by the police. It’s very Keystone Cops.

Just moved off at London Bridge. 500 people. A small bunch from Revolution are the only noise.

The climate protesters say this is a “cretin crunch”. And they’re talking about you and me, not bankers.

At the anti-war march, Sky News astrologer is waving a rainbow peace flag.

The no borders, anti-enclosures Horseman of the Apocalypse has just fallen over!

Climate protester: “Bankers are just greedy people on a larger scale.” Banker is code for wealth, ambition.

This is a weirdly reflexive event. More mobile phone photos than shouting. Warming up though.

The climate protest is very small and very raggedy. It’s a march of middle class miserabilists.


Passing by Northern Rock, marchers promise “another world is coming” while others shout “wankers” at bemused city workers.

They’re waving Tibet flags on the climate demo. Green, poor, victimised: it’s their ideal society.

The anti-enclosures march has dwindled to the size of the first Diggers community. About 20.

“Who are these twats?” Builder in a hard hat referring to climate protesters.

They’re playing rave music on the climate protest. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.

The laughing office and construction workers seem to be enjoying the police v protester wrestling.

Protesters use pillows as symbol for home security – and to protect themselves from police.

Some people are carrying pillows to symbolise their right to a home and also “to fight the police”. Good luck with that.

Daisy from London is here to prove protest can be peaceful and optimistic.

Demands are propagated for “one world, one country, one rule of law”. But distrust for world leaders is also voiced here.


All protests have now arrived at the “belly of the beast”, the Bank of England.

There are more Palestinian scarves outside the Bank of England than there are in Ramallah.

At the Bank of England it’s like a football match – noisy and loads of spectators.

Palestine, Iraq and Tibet are at the top of anti-war protesters’ agenda.

Rave? You’re lucky. It’s a man dressed up as a businessman playing Rage Against The Machine here…

A placard urges ‘Don’t be stupid’. Doh!

Some people are demanding a MAXIMUM WAGE to prevent bankers being paid too much. Why not high wages for all?

On the finance march, mix of end-of-capitalism banners and narrow anti-banker feeling.

Placard: “Thank you Thatcher you evil devil bitch!!!”

Protest takes on spiritual tone as brass band plays “We shall overcome”.

We’ve bumped into spiked’s Oz correspondent Guy Rundle, covering this for Crikey!

A placard shows Gordon Brown excreting money. It’s not clear if it’s a critique or a proposal.

The whole thing is a curious mix of panic and passivity. There’s an “apocalypse” but people are chilling and dancing.

Very little interaction between people. Seen few leaflets and no newspapers being sold.

Some placards say bankers are “coked up and cookin’ the books”. So this is an anti-drugs demo now?

Chris Knight who was kicked out of east london uni is trying to make an announcement but the batteries are falling out of his megaphone.

Placard: “Save the sparrow, save the world,” Tweet tweet!

An alternative summit and occupation is on at East London uni from 4pm. A policeman helped put the batteries back in the megaphone.

Comedian Mark Thomas is here. Proof that what political comedy lacks in wit, it makes up for with bad politics.

Some NO2ID campaigners are here. Good to see libertarians amongst a misanthropic crowd.

The government of the dead promises to wrestle power away from the G20 and capitalists at the alternative summit.

“Let’s live within our means, not by any means.” This is fundamentally a protest against ourselves. Rein us in – that’s the message.

Things that should not be brought to demos: bicycles, dogs, whistles. Anything else, spiked team?


The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are dancing to reggae.

The 9/11 conspiracy theorists say their claims are backed by “engineering experts”. Shows the madness of mixing politics and “science”

The International is now being sung but most people here don’t know the lyrics.

A poster is telling people to ‘Harm Bono’. That’s one message I’ll follow.

The police are searching anyone whose face is covered. So much for freedom of protest.

Things that should not be brought to demos part 2: Palestinian flags. Have been made meaningless.

Things that should not be brought to demos, part 3: policemen.

Media scrum as effigy of the banker is hanged. They must be desperate for something edgy.

Special Brew and Strongbow seems to be the most revolutionary mix on offer today.

Things that should not be brought to demos part 4: bubble-blowing machines.

The protest most brings to mind that REM song: It’s The End Of The World And I Feel Fine.

The police are blocking the exits out of the main protest area.

Things that should not be brought to demo, part 4.2: small children.

They’re hanging an effigy of Fred Goodwin. Would this have happened without the Brown/media attacks on Goodwin?

The cavalry has arrived! hundreds more protesters stopped by the police from getting to the Bank of England.

One protester accuses Jacqui Smith of being a “Zionist puppet”.

Things that should not be brought to a demo, part 5: dreadlocks. Unless they’re your own.

There’s a survivor of the 7/7 bus bomb here. He thinks 7/7 was organised and executed by MI5.


While outwith the police cordon protesters wait, within it’s all gone a bit flat.

It’s like the end of a pop festival. Lots of bored people waiting to leave with a small crowd listening to music in the distance.

A man in a sumo wrestler costume waits expectantly.

It is fizzling out and people want to leave but the police have penned us in.

‘Bankers wankers’ now adorns a wall. I knew the Diggers were here, but no one mentioned Milton.

The police strategy of pinning everyone in is a mix of both authoritarianism and hands off policing.

There is a small bit of violence at the Royal Bank of Scotland and it’s being made worse by the mounted police’s panicked response.

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Topics Politics


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