PR people based in the City seemed to have been mostly unaffected
by last Friday’s anti-capitalism demonstration, when protestors stormed
offices in the Square Mile, wreaking havoc not seen since the anti-poll
tax riot of 1990.
Members of Ludgate Public Affairs, based in Charterhouse Street, were
particularly worried. Their work for Midland Expressway, which is
building the UK’s first toll motorway, has put them at risk from
anti-roads groups like Reclaim the Streets, one of the pressure groups
behind last Friday’s protest.
Ludgate staff were warned to avoid external meetings and to dress down
so as to look as inconspicuously capitalist as possible.
But Ludgate public affairs deputy managing director Richard Elsen tells
me his day went spectacularly normally. He actually sounded rather
disappointed: ’No protestors have turned up. I was quite looking forward
to it,’ he says.
The day did not pass so uneventfully for London International Financial
Futures Exchange (LIFFE) press officer James Dunseath. ’It was pretty
manic. The protestors kicked down the front doors and ran up the
escalators, but our security men forced them down and then the riot
police arrived. We had non-stop media inquiries,’ he tells me