BP and Unilever braced for violence after anarchists circulate ‘hit list’
Boycott British firms in protest at presence of ‘pirate prince’, say militants
Pledge comes after Mob attack branch of HSBC Bank in the capital
HMS Dauntless will set sail for the South Atlantic, says MoD
Thugs who attacked a British-owned bank in Argentina in a protest over the Falklands have threatened a repeat of the violence.
Protestors say they will target a different British business every week in a chilling message set to heighten tensions between the two countries.
More than 100 militants armed with wooden clubs threw paint bombs and sprayed ‘English out of Malvinas’ on the HSBC branch in Buenos Aires yesterday.
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Militant: Protesters hold Argentinian flags and banners with left-wing slogans after Prince William landed in the Falklands yesterday for a six-week mission with the Royal Air Force
The ugly protest came as Prince William touched down in the Falkland Islands for a six-week tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot amid Argentine claims it was an ‘act of provocation.’
The Duke of Cambridge received a warm welcome as he landed in the disputed Falkland. In Argentina however, violence broke out.
Quebracho, a hardline left-wing group behind the HSBC protest, today vowed to repeat its actions.
Quebracho leader Fernando Esteche, who was jailed on charges stemming from political violence during a march four years ago, pledged to target a British-owned business in Argentina every week.
Urging a damaging British business boycott and attacking Prince William, he added: ‘We call on the Argentine people to boycott all British firms and the products they sell in our country in a protest at the presence of the pirate prince.’
Fellow militant Federico Lopardo predicted the next protest could attract as many as 500 supporters.
He raged: ‘Britain’s imperialist policies have to be eradicated.
‘This move to put the Falklands at the forefront of their foreign policy is an attempt to distract public attention from the economic and political crisis Britain is suffering.’
The Duke of Cambridge’s arrival, ahead of a tour of duty as an RAF search and rescue pilot, comes as the Royal Navy prepares to send one of its most advanced new warships to the area.
His arrival has already led to controversy in Argentina which claims the prince will be wearing the uniform of a ‘conqueror’ when he deploys.
The Argentinean government said William’s deployment was a distraction from Britain’s ‘internal problems’.
Vice-president Amado Boudou told the country’s La Red radio station that the move was a case of ‘bravado’ to mask high unemployment and the prospect of Scottish independence.
His words follow reports that Buenos Aires is putting pressure on a Chilean airline to stop weekly flights to the Falklands which pass through Argentine airspace.
David Cameron’s official spokesman said such ‘threats’ about the flights were ‘not new,’ adding: ‘Clearly, we hope that that flight will not be cut, but there are also RAF services from London to the Falklands and these will continue.’
Masked demonstrators lift their sticks during the protest against the arrival of Britain’s Prince William to the Falkland Islands
Pedestrians walk by a graffiti which reads ‘English, get out of Malvinas’, that was painted during a protest on the front door of an HSBC Bank (right) and a protester lobs a paint bomb at the branch
The Ministry of Defence said William’s six-week posting to the remote outcrop, which Buenos Aires calls Las Malvinas, was part of a ‘a routine operational deployment’.
The Duke – who has flown to the archipelago as part of a crew of four RAF personnel – will attend a series of briefings and take part in a ‘familiarisation flight’ before he begins his search and rescue work.
FIRMS ON THE THUGS’ LIST
J & B Scotch Whisky
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: ‘MOD can confirm Flight Lieutenant Wales, as part of a four-man Search and Rescue crew, has arrived in the Falkland Islands on a routine operational deployment and will shortly take up SAR duties post a period of briefings and a familiarisation flight.’
British firms operating in the south American nation including Unilever and BP were last night bracing themselves for violence after the threats.
They were on a ‘black list’ of British-owned companies operating in Argentina which was being circulated on the Internet and social networking sites. Companies with links to Britain are also included on the list.
The list was circulated alongside a picture of the Union Jack with a skull and crossbones drawn over it under the headline: ‘Boycott the Pirates.’
Argentine firms belonging to the British-Argentine Chamber of Commerce, including two hotels and an insurance broker, were also placed on the list.
The Quebracho threat will be taken seriously because it has a track record of organising violent protests.
The organisation’s full name is the Quebracho Revolutionary Patriotic Movement.
It defines itself as a revolutionary anti-imperialist movement.
Its aggressive and confrontational tactics have brought it into conflict with other left-wing organizations.
It has led violent demonstrations against Israel and in support of Iranian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and militant group Hezbollah.
In April 2002 Quebracho members chased an IMF delegate into the Buenos Aires he was staying in after following him from the airport.
They also protested against Prince Charles visit to Argentina in March 1999 and destroyed dozens of shops when George Bush flew into the country in 2005.
Critics have described the organisation, which uses the slogan ‘Fatherland or Death’ as an ‘enemy of democracy.’
The Duke’s deployment in the Falklands comes amid a diplomatic war of words between the British and Argentine Governments.
Rising tensions between Argentina and Britain over the disputed Falklands reached boiling point last month when David Cameron claimed in the Commons the south American nation was acting like a colonialist power over the islands.
War of words: Argentina’s president, Cristina Fernandez, has attacked David Cameron’s ‘colonialism’ statement, saying Britain didn’t have ‘reasons or arguments’
Acting president Amado Boudou described Britain as the ultimate imperialist power and urged the PM to ‘go back to school and re-read his history books’
Mr Cameron has insisted the islanders themselves must decide their future.
The MoD announced earlier this week it was sending HMS Dauntless to the South Atlantic but insisted its deployment was routine.
Prince William’s Falklands posting led to him being branded ‘a conqueror’ by Argentina’s Foreign Ministry.
The heightened tensions come as Britain tries to improve its diplomatic and business relations with Latin American countries like Mexico and Brazil.
Brazil has said it will stop Falklands-flagged ships from docking its ports as part of a regional agreement with Argentina and Uruguay despite increased business ties with Britain.
KATE’S FIRST SOLO PUBLIC VISIT
The Duchess of Cambridge will carry out her first solo public engagement next week, Clarence House said today.
Kate will visit the National Portrait Gallery in London on Wednesday followed by a trip to Liverpool on Valentine’s Day.
The Duchess, a patron of the NPG, will visit its Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition on February 8.
She will see a range of Freud’s work, including some of the artist’s most important portraits from the 1940s to the one he was painting shortly before his death in July last year.
The following Tuesday, February 14, Kate will travel to Liverpool in support of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and the charity Action on Addiction, of which she is also patron.
She will tour an alcohol-free bar run by the organisation before travelling to the hospital and meeting staff, patients and their parents.
Prince William opened an MRI facility during a visit to Alder Hey in February 2010.
His wife will hear how the technology has helped treatment patients, including children diagnosed with cancer, when she visits the oncology unit.
As well as the NPG and Action on Addiction, the Duchess is patron of East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices and the Art Room, it was announced last month.
CHARLES VISITS CITY CHURCHES
Inner-city churches opened their doors to the Prince of Wales today as he met priests who have made an impact in their communities.
Church of England reverends and Roman Catholic priests met Charles as he visited places of worship in Camden and Kentish Town, London.
The heir to the throne visited the churches to highlight the work of ‘grassroots’ clergy who have boosted congregation numbers and engaged with their neighbourhoods.
Throughout the day Charles was joined by the Bishop of London, Dr Richard Chartres, a personal friend and spiritual adviser.
At St Silas, a Roman Catholic church in Kentish Town, led by parish priest Father Graeme Rowlands, who has increased congregation numbers from four when he took up his post in 1989 to more than 100 today, the Bishop praised the work of the cleric.
He said ‘This is just one of a series of visits the prince has made just to see what the grassroots reality is – parts of London which very often hit the headlines for very different reasons.
‘People are working away year after year in places like this, where very often where we were 10, 20 years ago was tiny congregations and complete demoralisation – so the prince’s visit recognises the fact of how much has been achieved.’
Prince Harry is due to visit Brazil next month ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War which claimed the lives of 649 Argentines and 255 Britons.
In the latest salvo, Argentina’s country’s Foreign Ministry said it ‘rejected the British attempt to militarise (the) conflict’ and expressed regret that an heir to the throne would arrive wearing ‘the uniform of a conqueror’.
David Cameron and Argentine president Cristina Fernandez have previously accused each other of ‘colonial’ behaviour, while Argentine official Sebastian Brugo Marco last year said the country could not ignore the ‘political’ implications of William’s deployment.
General Sir David Richards, the Chief of the Defence Staff, dismissed the claims, saying: ‘I can absolutely tell you it wasn’t and isn’t designed to be.’
William, who has worked as a Sea King pilot while based at his north Wales home on Anglesey, is following in the footsteps of his younger brother, Prince Harry, who was sent to Afghanistan as a forward air controller in 2008.