DUNCAN BARKES Occasion when bringing on the water canons can be justified

Picture the scene: Flags fluttering in the breeze and pomp a’plenty – London resplendently majestic as thousands descend on the capital to join in the celebrations of the wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

Yet yards away from Westminster Abbey, activists and anarchists use the occasion to protest, attempting to disrupt the event.

Is the imminent royal wedding a justified target for attack or protest?

This is not a hypothetical question.

The last few months have seen various protest organisations and extremists declare the royal wedding fair game.

Take the self-styled Mister Mayhem, who is part of the shadowy Network X organisation.

In a leaked email it was revealed the group planned to ‘mingle with well-wishers in large numbers, hold anarchist street parties, reoccupy Parliament Square, stage a carnival orgy and drive up security costs to the point where the whole wedding has to be relocated to St Paul’s’.

Network X includes the Whitechapel Anarchists Group, Democracy Village, the Direction Action Group, Class War and many environmental and feminist anarchists.

The group has not ruled out the use of violence, should police challenge them.

A group of prostitutes are also planning a nude demonstration in London on the day.

The International Union of Sex Workers and the Sexual Freedom Coalition plan to form a human chain, blocking a key road, wearing only balaclavas.

It can be argued that Mister Mayhem and his merry band, along with the balaclava-clad hookers, would not pose a real threat to the big day and, in the case of the latter, provide an amusing diversion to the endless footage of patriotic crowds.

But on a more sinister note, Anjem Choudary, the outspoken Muslim cleric, has warned a terror attack is ‘highly likely’ at the Royal wedding.

The preacher has told all Muslims to stay away from Westminster Abbey on April 29, describing it as a ‘prime target’.

This unpleasant character does Muslims in the UK no favours.

Terrorists regard high-profile events as targets that will highlight their ‘cause’.

Anarchists and protesters see the royal wedding as an opportunity to demonstrate against such extravagance, especially in these testing economic times.

But while Mister Mayhem and his posse of protesters and prozzies make nuisances of themselves, they will also need a police presence to monitor their antics, thus diluting the level of protection against the real threat of terrorism.

As far as I am concerned the royal wedding is off limits.

I have no problem whatsoever with reasonable force being used to stop protesters and activists from ruining the day.

Personally, I favour water canons.