State-funded Thatcher funeral sparks riot fears
Published 11/04/2013 | 05:00
Police are bracing for protests at Margaret Thatcher's funeral after it was revealed it will be partially state-funded.
Anarchist groups have been started on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter in preparation, including one called 'If Thatcher does get a State Funeral We Will Riot'.
Some of the groups are attempting to instigate pickets and protests, while others are posting advice to those planning to riot.
One post published on the website for Indymedia, a Bristol-based group, warned: "I suspect there are thousands of people out there who think that having a party is not enough.
"They want to be there at her state funeral.
"They want to protest at the injustice of Thatcher parading her wealth and status through the streets of London, when so many live and die in poverty as a result of her policies."
The post finishes with a rallying cry: "Don't buckle under the (police) scare tactics.
"See you all on the streets."
Police will want to avoid a repeat of Monday evening's scenes, when impromptu street parties broke out in Leeds, Bristol, south London, Liverpool and Glasgow on the announcement of the former prime minister's death.
Operation True Blue got under way earlier this week as a special Cabinet Office committee was set up to co-ordinate the logistics of the ceremonial funeral to be held next Wednesday, with the service at London's St Paul's Cathedral.
Security will be heightened after Buckingham Palace announced that the queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will attend.
More street parties are expected around the country on the day.
One Facebook group 'Thatcher's dead – Party' is planning a "celebration" in Allerton, Liv- erpool, with 150 confirmed as attending and 450 more invited.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "London's police, the MPS, City of London and British Transport Police are working together to deliver a security operation for Baroness Thatcher's funeral. Given the nature of the event, our operation will use a range of appropriate tactics."
Meanwhile, Mark Thatcher said his family had been "overwhelmed" by the messages of support received from across the world, and described them as "a source of great encouragement in the sad days ahead".
The 59-year-old expressed warm appreciation for the memories of his mother's life conveyed in the raft of tributes this week.
Mr Thatcher, speaking publicly about his mother's death for the first time, said outside her home in Belgravia, London: "By any measure, my mother was blessed by a long life and a very full one."
The funeral will have a Falklands war theme and more than 700 armed forces personnel will take part in it, Downing Street announced yesterday.
Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel now serving on ships and in regiments and units which played a key role in the 1982 conflict with Argentina will carry the former UK prime minister's coffin into St Paul's in central London. (© Daily Telegraph, London).