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The RIBA shut its doors early to guard itself against the May Day protests which were due in central London as the AJ went to press.

The institute was not expecting any particular demonstrations at its headquarters building on Portland Place, but chief executive Richard Hastilow warned staff that disruption could be expected outside and allowed staff to leave or work from home from 1pm onwards. Hastilow, who was remaining inside with a skeleton staff, also warned staff to be on their guard against people acting suspiciously and said his decision was intended to minimize risks for visitors and staff on homeward journeys. The decision meant that a prize-giving ceremony planned for the BRE by the institute's Leeds-based competitions office for 6.30pm at Portland Place had to be postponed.

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