‘Animal Rebellion’ – changed plans but still a threat….

In our previous issue of Corps Relay we circulated the intention of ‘Animal Rebellion’ to attempt to blockade City of London-based Smithfield Meat Market, during the period 7-21 October 2019.

Further updates on the possible impact on our City of London, and City of Westminster customers’ colleagues and premises

Following a further meeting held by City of London Police (CoLPA) and attended by Corps Security’s Regional Operations Director, we can report on the following update:

  • It was previously thought the newly formed Animal Rebellion group would occupy Smithfield’s market for two weeks from Monday 7 October. However following negotiations between the group, City Police and City of London Corporation the protest in the market will only take place over a 24-hour period starting from the afternoon of Monday 7 October.
  • Organisers anticipate around 2,000 protesters will participate. However the Facebook page suggests numbers will be smaller.
  • The Animal Rebellion protest in Smithfield appears to be one action as part of a two-week action undertaken by Extinction Rebellion, which will mainly target government agencies in the Westminster area.
  • The Extinction Rebellion protesters intend to target 10 locations in Westminster for at least two weeks from Monday 7 October. The protesters are likely to stay static in their sites, however their activity is dependent on the weather.
  • Map of intended routes and affected areas

What tactics will the protesters employ?

Readers should be aware of the likely tactics that protesters will employ:

  • Protesters’ tactics could include:
    • Graffiti, Criminal damage,
    • lock-ons outside premises,
    • swarming,
    • roadblocks,
    • mass sit-downs / die-in’s,
    • impersonating staff to enter building,
    • attending and disrupting events held in buildings
  • It is possible that protesters will approach businesses asking for their support.
  • There is no current intelligence to suggest violent tactics will be used from this group. However, as this is a new group it is difficult to foresee what their exact method of protesting will be

Where are the most likely locations for protests?

Potential locations that may be targeted by protesters within the City of London include the following:

  • It is expected Animal rebellion will protest Smithfield’s market for 24 hours, however it is possible they may re-enter the site during the two-week period. Meanwhile Extinction rebellion protesters will focus their activity in Westminster and government area.
  • Intelligence suggests protesters will set up a base on Grand Avenue in the centre of Smithfield market.
  • Intelligence suggests a charity shop in Plumtree court, Shoe Lane EC4A will be used by protesters as a feeding location.

How will Police respond during the protest?

The policing plan, as advised by City of London Police, will include the following:

  • A 24/7 robust policing plan will be in place from City Police throughout the two-week period in case protesters re-enter site or pop-up demos emerge.
  • Various Police teams have been set up including a Protest removal team (to deal with protesters glued to buildings), Rope tactics team (to deal with protesters climbing buildings) and Police liaising team (to engage with the protesters, businesses and local community).
  • There will be an increased number of officers around locations that have been targeted recently.

Police Advice:

  • Please ensure your own security plans are reviewed ahead of the demonstration.
  • Residents and businesses are encouraged to talk to officers deployed in the area. Please report all hostile reconnaissance activity.
  • Any intelligence, concerns or advice can be emailed to protestenquiries@cityoflondon.pnn.police.uk. Please send your emails from corporate email address.
  • If a situation escalates there will be an enhanced police and security presence in the City, who will be in the area to deal with the matter.
  • All persons (Security and other personnel) working throughout Central London should follow the TFL, and Police announcements on any impact on the Tube, Bus and other transport networks.
  • Only call 999 in the event of an emergency or threat to life.

All site Security Control Rooms should be monitoring Sky/Breaking News around the clock.

It is also vital that measures are in place to alert the police via 999 calls (not 101) or panic alarms in real time.

HMG’s terror alert status for the UK is detailed below:

The threat to the UK (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) from terrorism is SEVERE

The threat to Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland-related terrorism is SEVERE

NOTE: Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack

  • LOW means an attack is highly unlikely
  • MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
  • SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is likely
  • SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
  • CRITICAL means an attack is highly likely in the near future

Everyone should always remain alert to the danger of terrorism and violent political activists and report any suspicious activity to the Police on 999 or the anti-terrorist hotline on:
0800 789 321


You may end up saving a life or lives… and there is nothing more rewarding than that…

The following telephone numbers may be useful:

Corps Security Central Support: 0141 378 7000
Specific advice on Counter-Terrorism matters: 020 7566 0516

Editor: Mike Bluestone MA CSyP FSyI