Scotland on Sunday: Shops say it will be business as usual: “Concerns about a major shutdown were sparked when it emerged McDonald’s and Shell garages will close on the weekend of July 2, when 200,000 protesters are expected for a Make Poverty History march.” (ShellNews.net) 15 May 05
BY KATE FOSTER
RETAILERS are planning to remain open for business during the G8 march through Edinburgh’s city centre, but have admitted they could close if police advise them of any predicted trouble.
Concerns about a major shutdown were sparked when it emerged McDonald’s and Shell garages will close on the weekend of July 2, when 200,000 protesters are expected for a Make Poverty History march.
Although it is billed as a peaceful anti-poverty protest, there are fears among many that it may attract anti-capitalist and anti- globalisation extremists.
However, high-profile businesses, including retailers Jenners, Harvey Nichols and Marks & Spencer yesterday said they intend to remain open, but admitted final decisions would be taken nearer the time.
Gordon Drummond, general manager of Harvey Nichols’ Edinburgh store, said its priority was staff and customer safety. He added: "We intend it to be business as usual on the day. We are talking to the police and the council regularly and will take another view when we get closer to the event."
A Jenners spokeswoman said they would remain open but had yet to decide on the number of security staff, while a spokeswoman for Marks & Spencer said it too planned to trade as normal that weekend.
Tourism, business and council officials have urged visitor attractions, shops, bars and restaurants to make the most of the thousands of people who are expected to descend on the city during the event.
The Make Poverty History event aims to form a ‘human wristband’ around the city centre.
The rally will begin in the Meadows before heading to George IV Bridge, the Mound, along Princes Street, on to Lothian Road and back past Castle Terrace and Lady Lawson Street to the starting point.
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