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November 8, 2011

Demonstrations Scheduled to Take Place In Central London and the City Of London on Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The U.S. Embassy London advises U.S. citizens that on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 a number of demonstrations, listed below, are likely to cause considerable congestion in central London and the City of London, most significantly a protest organized by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts.

Attention sign

Photo by: fs999 on Flickr

National Campaign against Fees and Cuts
The National Campaign against Fees and Cuts will protest in opposition to Higher Education reform with a march and rally expected to run from 12:30PM to 6:30PM.

Previous student demonstrations and politically-motivated, student-based protests in London have led to significant disorder and a number of arrests for various offenses, including public order and criminal damage.  Activists have stated they are trying to organize ‘walk outs’ and campus occupations across the capital.  The City of London and the various ‘Occupy’ campaigns are also attracting significant attention from student activists as well as anarchist and anti-capitalist groups.

Organizers hope to attract up to 10,000 protesters and police will provide a proportionate response.

A map detailing the route is below and areas expected to be affected are the London Boroughs of Westminster, Camden, Southwark, Lambeth and City of London (Malet Street, Gower Street, Bloomsbury Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road, Duncannon Street, Strand, Fleet Street, Fetter Lane, New Fetter Lane, Holborn Viaduct, Newgate Street, King Edward Street, and London Wall)

Additionally, there will be numerous road closures with fixed and temporary road closures along the whole route. London, Southwark, Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridges (Northbound) may be closed if required. Closures will begin at 9:00AM and increase throughout the day.

Congestion should be expected throughout Central London as two additional demonstrations are expected on November 9, 2011, (noted below).

Taxi Protest
The Rail, Maritime and Transportation Works Union (RMT) London Taxi Branch will be holding a demonstration outside the headquarters of TFL Windsor House, Victoria Street, London SW1 between 2:00PM – 4:00PM.  Later in the day, RMT taxi members will be playing a leading role in a wider demonstration involving taxi drivers from other taxi organizations in Trafalgar Square at 4:00PM.

Location:
Victoria Street and Trafalgar Square

Transport Information:
Road Closures: Temporary and fixed road closures within Trafalgar Square and surrounding roads as required

Unite Electrician Demonstration and National Construction Industry Day of Action
Unite has called for an 11:30AM demonstration at the Shard, by London Bridge, followed by a rally at Blackfriars and subsequent march to Parliament.  This is in addition to action carried out by union-backed construction workers at the Pinnacle building site, Bishopsgate (near Liverpool Street Station) at 07:00AM.

Location:
London Boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth and Westminster

Description:
Details of Proposed Route: Borough High Street, Southwark Street, Southwark Bridge Road, Southside river embankment, Millennium Bridge, Northside River Embankment, Victoria Embankment, Bridge Street and Parliament Square.

Transport Information:

Road Closures: Temporary road closures along the whole route to facilitate the march within a “bubble”.

These marches/rallies will be well policed, but the Embassy recommends U.S. citizens avoid the protest routes and the rally locations.  If you have plans to visit London, exercise common sense combined with personal safety measures. U.S. citizens are reminded of the following general measures to be considered at any time and place:

  •  Follow local media reports and be aware of what is going on around you;
  • If you find yourself near any civil unrest or see trouble, move away from the scene and leave;
  • Do not engage with those causing disturbance;
  • If you find yourself at or near a protest, leave;
  • If you are confronted by a protestor, leave;
  • Do not wear clothing that might incite some sort of response;
  • Do not challenge, debate, or make unwise comments.  This will only increase your chance of becoming a victim of violence;    and
  • If you find yourself in trouble and it is an emergency, call the police first.  Only then, if necessary, reach out to the Embassy.

To reach the American Citizen Services section of the U.S. Embassy in London, call 0207-499-9000 or email SCSLondon@state.gov .
More information about the services we provide to American citizens is available on our website.

U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in the United Kingdom are strongly advised to enroll through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).   U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  By enrolling, you make it easier for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to contact you in case of emergency.

Current information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States or a regular toll line at-1-202-501-4444 for callers from other countries.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

You can also stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.  Follow us on Twitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook as well.

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