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Sparks flying over Suffolk jubilee tours

PUBLISHED: 13:45 25 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:36 03 March 2010

ANTI-ROYALIST protesters are plotting to disrupt the Queen's visit to Suffolk as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The Movement Against the Monarchy is planning a protest when Her Majesty visits Bury St Edmunds – including setting off fireworks near the royal motorcade as it goes through the town.

ANTI-ROYALIST protesters are plotting to disrupt the Queen's visit to Suffolk as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The Movement Against the Monarchy is planning a protest when Her Majesty visits Bury St Edmunds – including setting off fireworks near the royal motorcade as it goes through the town.

The threatened attack – part of a summer-long campaign to disrupt the Golden Jubilee celebrations – was branded "mindless, sickening, ridiculous and disgraceful" by Royal supporters.

Derek Redhead, the Conservative leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, added: "It shows there are some sick members of our society.

"It's disgraceful to think that anyone would want to disrupt the Queen's visit to Bury St Edmunds. They are entitled to their views, but this is a ridiculous way of demonstrating – it seems completely mindless.

"I have faith that the police will prevent anything going wrong with Her Majesty's visit to Suffolk. These protesters are idiots."

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be visiting Suffolk on July 17. The couple will start their day in Ipswich, are expected to make a short stop in Stowmarket and will attend a civic lunch in Bury St Edmunds before going to a performance in the town's famous Abbey Gardens.

But police have vowed the anti-royalist campaigners will not be allowed to disrupt the Golden Jubilee events.

Special Branch officers are monitoring individuals and organisations in an attempt to gather information about the planned protests. That will then be passed onto regional forces, including Suffolk police.

The Movement Against the Monarchy said its aim was to bring about an "autonomous, egalitarian and anti-monarchist" society.

It is planning to stage a number of protests across the country during the Golden Jubilee celebrations – including an attempt to take control of London's Millennium Bridge on June 4 while the Queen is attending a service at St Paul's Cathedral.

Among the tactics being considered for the protests are playing the sound of a machine gun being fired on loudspeaker systems, setting off fireworks and burning Royal dummies on bonfires.

An internet site has already been set up with an e-mail address for anti-royalists to contact if they want to take part in the Bury St Edmunds protest, which it has been suggested would include setting off fireworks near the Queen's motorcade.

A Movement Against the Monarchy activist said: "We can't wait for public apathy to destroy the monarchy, we have to take direct action.

"Of course getting rid of the Royals isn't going to turn Britain into Utopia, if only life were that simple. But you can't have a decent, fair and exciting society and still have the Royals."

The Queen's last official visit to Ipswich was for the Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977.

Their visit to Suffolk is being planned by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lord Belstead, who declined to comment.


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