Anti-capitalism protesters from the Occupy movement have pitched tents outside the Bank of England, they said tonight.
A spokesman for the movement said they had set up around 10 tents outside the banking institution and were deciding whether to defy police orders to leave the site.
The protest by several hundred demonstrators in the City of London was part of a global day of action that saw thousands of people rallying in cities including Moscow, New York, Athens and Madrid, organisers said.
Several hundred people gathered outside St Paul’s Cathedral for a rally before “visiting the 1%”, in an attempt to walk to the offices of some of the largest banking institutions.
These included the offices of some of the largest firms in the financial heart of the capital, such as Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, RBS and Santander.
Occupy London supporter David Lincoln said: “The Bank of England stands right at the intersection of finance and government.
“In the light of Bank governor Mervyn King’s recent comments about ’vested interests’ standing in the way of reform of the financial sector, it is clear that that balance in the UK is fundamentally skewed.
“Hundreds of people gathering by the Bank of England is a powerful symbol of how things have to change.”
The demonstrators were closely shadowed by City of London Police, who attempted to contain them on several occasions, leading to a number of minor skirmishes.
A police spokesman said no arrests had been made and that the protesters had been given a deadline by which they had to leave the area outside the Bank of England.
“We have a proportionate response in place,” he said.