Written by Ellis Ian Fields
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Friday, 18 February 2011

image for Isle Of Wight Braced For Marches After Middle East Outbreaks
Dangerous scenes in Shanklin yesterday.

Authorities in Cowes, Ryde and Newport have alerted security services to be ready for of an outbreak of Middle East-style demonstrations.

They fear that recent outbreaks of people power in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere may soon be repeated on the island.

"These are dangerous times," said Oliphant Mesmer, chair of the Island's Committee of Public Safety and Grass Verge Maintenance. "Who knows where the next outbreak might be? That domino effect thing could lead anywhere.

"Clearly these protests have, in the main, been peaceful and we are not ones to to stand in the way of public opinion. But we need to be prepared in case things turn ugly.

"We would be failing in our duty if we were not ready to maintain public order."

Spokesman for the Newport branch of the Workers' Not Revolutionary But Definitely Left-Of-Centre Party, Norman Lenin, said: "Oh there's definitely something simmering under the surface on the island.

"Things in Tunisia and Egypt have got people here very excited. Well - a bit. We had three people came to a talk on them last week! Two of them went after the tea was served, though."

EIF News & Features is maintaining a full bureau staff on the island during the developing crisis. Keep it here for more news.

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