Saturday, 22 October 2016
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May 23 2013 | 11:10am ET
In an echo of 2011's Occupy Wall Street protests, anti-G8 activists are targeting the London offices of 17 hedge funds.
Stop G8 is circulating an "action map" of the "hiding places of power in the West End" of Britain's capital for a June 11 protest, one week before the G8 summit in Northern Ireland. Among the firms on the map are BlueBay Asset Management, Brevan Howard Asset Management, Horseman Capital, Lansdowne Partners, Man Group, Millennium Global Management, Odey Asset Management and Paulson & Co. The map also features banks and private equity firms, as well as companies involved in arms, energy, mining, media and security. Also identified are several "dens of the rich," including nightclubs, shops and restaurants.
But the hedge funds appear to be the primary target, with Stop G8 calling out what it sees as the industry's "blood money" profits on war, food and debt speculation, as well as the industry's political sway, with donations which allow "them to fend off regulation and investigation despite their unsavory reputations."
The hedge funds targeted—as well as other hedge funds that did not make the map—have been in touch with the Metropolitan Police. The chief operating officer of one e-mailed a group of London financiers to assure them that the threat "is being taken seriously and my understanding is that all police leave has been cancelled in anticipation of trouble," the Financial Times reports. "Some units who were due to police Northern Ireland have now been instructed to remain in London."
The police told the FT only that the were "in dialogue" with Stop G8. Occupy London is also set to take part.
Some of the hedge funds aren't counting merely on police protection, and are considering having staff work at satellite offices on the day of the protests, or "not to dress like a hedge fund manager," the FT reports.
"People will take this very seriously," a senior employee at one of the hedge funds said.
The 2011 New York protest, and subsequent protests by the Occupy movement that have targeted hedge funds, did not turn violent. But some anti-G8 and anti-globalization protests have, notably in Seattle in 1999 and Genoa, Italy, in 2001.