William Maclean and Kate Holton
April 1, 2009

Demonstrators clashed with riot police and smashed bank windows in Britain’s financial center on Wednesday in protest against a system they said had robbed the poor to benefit the rich.

[efoods]Hundreds of protesters converged on a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, shattering windows. Rescued by the government in October, RBS has become a lightning rod for public anger over banker excess blamed for the crisis.

The protests were timed to coincide with a G20 meeting of the world’s leading and emerging economies.

Mounted police and officers in riot gear surrounded the building to keep the crowds back. Protesters hurled paint bombs and bottles, chanting: “These streets, our streets! These banks, our banks!”

Police said a number of officers had been injured, adding in a statement: “There have been a number of missiles thrown at officers and a number of surges at the police cordons, and increasing levels of violence toward police.”

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